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3ltl|aca, Kern ^ork 








Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 






lllkstralians anil IBiograjpfikal Mfeeklie^ 


7X4^-±6 B^ilbert Street, Philadelphia. 








Town of Hopkinton . 

. 318 

Introductory 8 


" Parishville 
" Gouverneur 

. 326 
. 335 

I. — Physical Features 9 

" De Kalb 


11.— Pre-Historic . 


" Macomb 

. 363 

III. — French Occupation 


Do Peyster 

. 365 
. 370 
. 377 

IV.— History of Land Titles . 


" Morristown 

v. — Civil Organization 


" Fowler . 

VI.— Statistical 


" Hammond 

. 383 

VII. — St. Lawrence Civil List 


"" Stockholm 

. 388 

VIII.— The Learned Professions 


" Louisville 

. 397 

IX. — Educational and Religious 


" Massena 

. 401 
. 412 

X.^-Internal Improvements 


" Brasher 

" Lawrence 

. 419 



. 426 


" Hermon 

. 435 

Village and City of Ogdensburg ... . . 141 

" Edwards 

. 442 

Town of Oswegatohie 198 

" Fine . 

. 446 

' Canton 205 

" Pitcairn 

. 449 

' Potsdam 236 

" Clifton . 

. 452 

' Lisbon 268 

" Colton . 


. 453 

Madrid 277 

Waddington . 287 


' Norfollc ... 299 


' Pierrepont 304 

" Rossie .312 





Court-House, Jail, and County Clerk's Office, 

Canton, facing title- 

Portrait of Edward J. Chapin . 




" Preston King . 



Outline Map of St. Lawrence County 



D. E. Southwick, M.D. . 

between 190 


Section from Geological Map of St. Lawrence County 


Portraits of Anthony Furness and Wife . 



Plan of Port Levis, on Chimney Island . 


" G. N. Seymour and Wife 



Fac-simile of Seal of St. Lawrence County 


Portrait of Bishop Perkins 


" First Legal Writ issued in St. 

Lawrence County, 

" Daniel Judson (steel) 

between 192 




" David C. Judson (steel) . 

" 192 


" Seal of Board of Supervisors 


" David M. Chapin . 


View of the County Clerk's Office, built in 1804 


Jones Block (with portrait, Wm. Jones) . 



" St. Lawrence University 



Portrait of Rev. L. M. Miller, D.D. . 


First Steamboat on the Great Lakes, 1816 


First Presbyterian Church and Parsonage 



Fac-simile, Oath of Allegiance of Early Militia 

Officers, 1806. 

Residence of W. L. Proctor (with portrait) 





Portrait of Geo. M. Foster 


Fac-simile of Commission, 1806 





Residence of Joseph Wheater (with portraits) . 



Custom House and Post-Office . 



" Beniah Morrison '* " 



Fac-similes of Indian Signatures 

. ■ . 143, 


Portrait of N. T. GifBn 



Office and Residence of Dr. Southwiok 



Portraits of John E. Tallman and Wife . 

between 200, 


Residence of George Parker, Esq. 

between 168, 


Residence of John E. Tallman 

" 200, 


" William E. Furniss, Esq. 

" 158 


" John S. Sharp (with portraits) . 



Portrait of " " " 

" 158 


Portrait of Benjamin Nevin . . . . 


Portraits of Ashbel and Elizabeth Sykes 



Portraits of Lewis Northrup and Wife 



Portrait of Stillman Foote, Esq. 



Portrait of Anthony Furness . . . . 


" James Armstrong . 

between 168, 


Residence of Walter R. Gray, Heuvelton* 



Residence of " " . . 

" 168, 


" C. P. Geer . 

" 168, 



Portrait of N. N. Child, M.D. . 



Residence of 0. A. Mead .... 



" Dr. S. N. Sherman . 



" B. H. Southworth (with portraits 

) ■ 


Portraits of W. B. Wheelook and Wife 



View of the Poor-House 



Portrait of E. B. Allen 



Mill of Lasell & Jewett, and Residence of S. ^W 

^ Lasell " 


" Charles Lyon . 

between 188 


Old Home of late Gov. Silas Wright . 



" Charles G. Myers . 

" 188 


Portraits of Pliny Wright and Wife . 





Residence of R. K. Jackson (with portraits) 

" Joshua W. Finnimore (with pori 


facing 212 
traits) double 
between 212, 213 
facing 213 
between 218, 219 
" 218, 219 

" W. H. Finnimore (with portraits) 

" Mrs. 0. Norton 

" N. Sanderson " 

" Wm. 0. Squires " 

Portraits of Asa Conkey and Wife . 
Residence of J. C. Whitney .... 

Hodskin House 

Portraits of Nathaniel and Barzillai Hodskin . " 

" Festus Tracy and Wife ... " 218, 219 

Residence of E. J. Tracy " 218, 219 

" Harvey Knox .... " 218, 219 

Portraits of Harvey Knox and Wife ... " 218, 219 

Portrait of Judge W. H. Sawyer ... " 218, 219 

" Darius Clark " 218, 219 

" John L. Russell .... " 218, 219 

Residence of John and Henry Bullis . . . facing 220 

Presbyterian Church " 221 

Residence of W. D. Boyden "222 

" Truman Barnes (with portraits) . between 222, 223 

" E. G. Woodbridge ... " 222, 223 

" John Malterner (with portraits) . . facing 224 

" E, Pickert and Son (with portraits) double page, 

between 224, 225 

" Samuel W. Pitt (with portraits) . . facing 225 

Portrait of Leslie W. Russell (steel) ... " 228 

Portraits of Aaron Barrow and Wife 232 

Portrait of Hon. Silas Wright facing 232 

" B. Miner between 232, 233 

" Hon. Silas Baldwin .... " 232, 233 

" Murray N. Ralph .... " 232, 233 

Portraits of William Perry and Wife . " 232, 233 

Residence of William Perry .... " 232, 233 

Portrait of George Robinson 233 

" John Miller 235 


State Normal and Training School . 
Residence of L. A. Holt 

" Luther S. Owen (with portrait) 

" George Pert .... 

" B. Usher .... 

" Wm. J. Barnum (with portraits) 

" Martial L. Wait " 

*' A. L. Lockwood . 

" J. F. Goggin .... 

Photograph Gallery of N. L. Stone . 
Portraits of Loren, Philena, and N. Ashley an 
Residence of B. D. Brooks 

" Seth Benson 

The French Homestead (with portraits) . 

Trinity Church 

Residence of Owen J. Sartwell (with portraits) 

" Joram Timerman " 

" A. E. Louokes " 

" Ellis Benson " 

" N. L. Benson " 

" George W. Bonney 

" Milton Heath • . 

Portrait of Samuel Partridge (steel) . 

" Horace Allen " . 

" William A. Dart " . 

" Dr. Henry Hewitt " . 
Residence of Mrs. Emeline Baldwin (with pen 

" Wm. H. Wright (with portraits) 

" Lyman H. Dayton " 

Portrait of Liberty Knowles 

facing 236 







between 248, 249 

" 248, 249 

" 248, 249 

Wife facing 249 

" 252 

" 252 

between 252, 253 

facing 253 

" 264 


" 256 

between 26R, 257 

" 256, 257 

facing 257 

" 267 

" 268 

between 260, 261 

" 260, 261 

facing 262 

trait) . " 263 

" 264 

between 264, 265 

" 264, 266 

Portraits of Eber Wheeler and Wife . 
Portrait of Luther E. Wadleigh 
Residence of Tilness Hawley (with portraits) 
The Mathews Homestead " 

Residence of A. T. Hopkins " 

" John May " 


Residence of H. E. Axtell, with river view 

" Adam Scott (with portraits). 

Portraits of Benj. D. Wheater and Wife . 


Residence of Caleb Pierce (with portraits) 


Residence of Jas. Redington 

" S. J. Dewey .... 

" George Redington 

" Calvin Abernethy 

Portrait of Hon. Geo. Redington (steel) . 
" Major John T. Rutherford 

" Mrs. Fanny Pratt . 

" Walter Wilson .... 





facing 266 

between 266, 267 

266, 267 

facing 267 

facing 272 
" 273 
" 276 

facing 286 

facing 287 

" 290 

" 295 

. 298 
facing 298 


Residence of Wm. C. Rawson (with portraits) 

" 0. H. Hale . 

Portraits of Silas Waldron and Wife 
Portrait of Dr. Wm. Floyd 

" Chauncey L. Shepard 
Residence of " " 

" H. C. Farwell 

Portrait of H. D. Carpenter 
" Perry C. Bixby 


Residence of Stephen A. Crary 

" J. Ingraham Leonard (with portraits) 

" M. and L. Bullis (double page) . 

Dairy Farm of Horace Butterfleld (with portraits) 
M. L. Howard " 

Ezra Lobdell " 

Portrait of Gardner Cox ...... 

Residence of S. C. Curtis ..... 

" A. B. Hamilton .... 

" C. R. Packard (with portraits) 

Portrait of F. A. Morrison .... 

Residence of Benjamin Butterfield . 

" L. Crampton .... 

facing 300 

between 300, 301 

300, 301 

facing 302 

between 302, 303 

" 302, 303 

" 302, 303 

facing 303 

. 303 

facing 303 

" 304 

between 304, 305 

facing 306 


" - 307 


between 308, 309 

" 308, 309 

facing 309 

. 309 

facing 310 

" 311 


Residence of Robert Markwick .... 


Residence of Royal Lawrence (with portraits) . 

" Mrs. Aohsa Goodell (with portraits) 

" Joel Witherell (with portraits) 

The Hopkins' Residence " 

Portrait of Joel Goodell .... 

" Franklin B. Kellogg 

" Hon. Jonah Sanford 
Residence of " " (with portrait) 

" W. E. Eastman (with portraits) 

Portraits of Jacob Phelps and Wife . 
Residence of Wm. S. Phelps (with portraits) 

" T. H. Laughlin " 

Portraits of C. S. Chittenden and Wife . 
Residence of Jason Brush 
Portraits of Eliphalet and Jason C. Brush 

aoing 311 

facing 318' 

" 319 


" 321 

. 322 

facing 322 

between 322, 323 

" 322, 323 

facing 323 

between 324, 325 

" 324,325 

facing 325 

" 326 

between 326, 327 

" 326, 327 



Portrait of Artemas Kent 
Portraits of Joseph and Joseph A. Brush 
" Dr. Francis Parker and Wife 

Residence of Joseph A. Brush . 
Portrait of Parker Converse 


between 326, 327 

" 326, 327 

" 326, 327 

" 326, 327 

facing 327 


Residence of David Daggett (with portraits) . 

" D. S. Stevens " 

Portrait of Ansel S. Smith .... 

" W. W. Bloss 

Residence of A. E. Bloss (with portraits) . 
Portraits of Samuel K. Flanders and Wife 
Residence of Mrs. Mary G. Willis (with portraits) 
View of Flanders & Sons' Manufactory 
Portrait of Parker W. Rose .... 

Residences of P. W. Rose 

Residence of Allen Whipple 

Portrait of Allen Whipple ..... 

Residence of H. N. Flower (with portraits) 


facing 328 

between 328, 329 

" 328, 329 

. 330 

facing 331 

between 330, 331 

facing 330 

between 330, 331 

. 332 

facing 332 

" 333 

. 333 

facing 334 

Business Property of C. Anthony, Jas. Brodie, etc. . facing 335 

Banking Office of A. Godard & Co " 338 

Portraits of A. E. Norton, Wife, and Jessie Ormiston, between 338, 339 

Residence of A- E. Norton 
Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary 
Residence of Milton G. Norton . 
Portrait of Prof. W. F. Sudds . 
Portraits of E. W. Abbott and Wii 

" P. V. Abbott and Dr. G. S. Farmer 

" H. W. Hunt and Wife 

Portrait of D. A. Johnson . 
Portraits of Francis M. Holbrook and Family 
Residence of F. M. Holbrook 
Portrait of J. A. Bassett . 

" E. H. Neary . 

" Rev. N. J. Conklin . 

" Rev. H. C. Townley . 

" Peter Van Buren 

" S, B. Van Duzee 
Portraits of Harvey D. Smith and Wife 


Residence of John Hockens 

" Caroline Smith 

" Blon G. Gardner . 

" , Nathan Rundell . 
Portraits of N. Rundell and Wife 

" 338, 339 

facing 339 

" 342 

" 346 

between 346, 347 

" 346, 347 

facing 347 

" 348 

between 348, 349 

" 348, 349 

. 349 

facing 350 

" 350 


350, 351 

350, 361 

350, 351 


. between 350, 351 

facing 351 


. between 352, 353 

" 352, 353 

Residence of E. P. Townsley and Wife (with portraits), facing 353 

" S. V. R. Hendrick . . . ' . "364 

" Daniel 0. Stiles (with portraits) . between 354, 355 

Portraits of Pelatiah Stacy and Wife . . " 364, 365 

" George P. Gaboon and Wife . . " 354, 356 

Residence and Mills of A. C. Hine .... facing 366 

Residence of S. W. Hemenway " 367 

" James Burnett "358 

" H. Godard, Esq between 358, 369 

Portraits of H. Godard and Wife .... " 368, 369 

Residence of Abner Brees (with portraits) . . facing 369 
Portrait of Hon. D. A. Moore (steel) .... " 360 ^ 

Residence of Andrew Roulston (with portraits) . " 362 


Residence of James McFalla 
" John A. Wilson 




Portraits of Otis C. Jillson and Wife 

facing 368 


Portrait of Russel Warren .... between 368, 369 

Portraits of Joel Warren and Wife ... " 368, 369 

Portrait of George Ashworth 369 

" Bcnj. F. Partridge 370 


Portrait of E. W. White facing 374 

Portraits of John E. Ingham and Wife . . between 374, 375 

Residence of " .... " 374, 375 

Farm of Jeremiah Davis (double page), with portraits " 374, 375 

Residence of Henry Hooker (with portraits) . . facing 375 

Portrait of Augustus Chapman (steel) ... " 376 


Residence of Benjamin Cross .... 


Residence of Andrew Rodger (with portraits) . 
" William Cuthbert " 

" James More " 

" Michael Forrester . 


facing 382 

facing 386 

between 386, 387 

386, 387 

facing 387 

Residence of 0. M. Emei-y 

" 0. F. Crouch .... 

" Benjamin Reeve (with portraits) 

W. T. Phippen . 
View of the AVest Stockholm Foundry 
Residence of G. W. Harrington (with portraits) 

" Jas. B. Pelsue " 

" Col. Ira Hale " 

Late Residence of J. L. Mayhew (with portrait) 
Residence of B. G. Lewis (with portraits) 

" R. R. Seaver 

Portraits of Morgan Marsh and Wife 
Portrait of Harriet Smith .... 
Portraits of Allen Lyman and Wife . 


Portraits of Samuel Tracy and Wife 
Residence of Hiram Fish (with portraits) 
" H. N. Robinson " 

" A. J. Barnhart, Barnhart's Island 

Portraits of the Barnhart Family 


Residence of Mahalon Lowell . 
" J. P. Stafford 

" Moses Rich (with portraits) . 

" C. T. Hulburt 

facing 388 

" 388 

" 389 

" 390 

" 391 

" 392 

"' 393 

" 394 

" 395 

" 396 

between 396, 397 

" 396, 397 

" 396, 397 

" 396, 397 

facing 401 

" 408 


" 410 

" 411 




Portrait of T. H. Ferris facing 420 

Portraits of W. S. Taggart and Wife . . between 420, 421 

Residence of W. S. Taggart .... " 420, 421 

" Hon. 0. F. Shepard ... " 420, 421 

Portrait of " " .... " 420, 421 

" M. B. Conlin facing 421 

Residence of George Berry (with portraits) . . " 424 

" A. E. McEuen " " . between 424, 426 

Residence and Store of D. L. Merrill (with portraits) " 424, 425 

Portrait of R. S. Palmer facing 425 


Russell Block facing 426 

Residence of 0. G. Weston "426 

Mills of Hiram Bartlett (with portraits) ... " 427 

Residence of Wiers Fordham "... " 428 




Residence of Daniel C. Gray (with poi'traits) . 

facing 430 


A. B. Shaw 

" 431 


J. M. Palmer 


Business Bloclc of D. S. Lynde 

facing 436 

Calvin H. Knox 


" Dr. B. G. Seymour 


Portraits of Hiry Derby and Wife . 


Portrait of Henry Gale 


Gerry Knox " ... 

between 434, 435 

Residence of Wm. Scripter (with portraits) 

" 438 

Residence of Harry F. Knox (with portraits) . 

" 434, 435 

" Ferdinand Richardson (with portraits) 


Ezra Stiles 

facing 435 

Portrait of Thomas Thornhill ..... 

. 441 




William Furniss, Ogdensburg facing 158 

Murray N. Ralph, Canton .... between 232, 233 

Ashbel and Elizabeth Sykes, Ogdensburg 

" 169 

William Perry, Sr., " 

. " 232,233 

Stillman Foote, " 


George Robinson, " 

. 233 

James Armstrong, " 

" 169 

John Mai tern er, " 

. 234 

N. N. Child, M.D., " 


Bphraim Pickert, " 

. 234 

S. N. Sherman, M.D., " 


Nelson Sanderson, " 

. 234 

W. B. Wheeloek, 


William 0. Squires, " 

. 234 

Hon. Nathan Ford, " 

. 188 

John Miller, " 

. 235 

B. B. Allen, 

facing 188 

Samuel Partridge, Potsdam 

. 258 

Charles Lyon, " 

between 188, 189 

Aaron T. Hopkins, " 

. 259 

Hon. Chas. G. Myers, " 

. " 188, 189 

Ira T. French, " 

. 259 

Edward J. Chapin, Esq., " 

facing 189 

Hon. Horace Allen, " 

. 260 

Louis Hasbrouck, " 

. 189 

Hon. William A. Dart, " 

. 260 

Dr. J. W. Smith, " 

. 190 

David Mathews, " 

. 261 

Joseph York, " 

. 190 

Owen J. Sartwell, " 

. 261 

Hon. Preston King, " 

facing 190 

Henry Hewitt, M.D., " 

. 262 

Dr. D. B. Southwick, 

between 190, 191 

Hon. Chas. 0. Tappan, " 

. 262 

Anthony Furness, " 

. " 190, 191 

Benjamin G. Baldwin, " 

. 263 

G. N. Seymour, " 

facing 190 

William J. Barnum, " 

. 264 

Bishop Perkins, " 

. 191 

Warren H. Wright, " 

. 264 

Daniel Judson, " 


Liberty Knowles, *' 

between 264, 265 

David C. Judson, " 


Eber Wheeler, " 

facing 265 

Hon. Silvester Gilbert, " 


Luther B. Wadleigh, 

. 265 

David M. Chapin, " 


Hon. A. X. Parker, " 


William Jones, " 


Seth Benson, " 

. 265 

George Parker, " 


Ellis Benson, " 

. 266 

Rev. L. M. Miller, D.D., 


Luther S. Owen, " 

. 266 

William L. Proctor, " 


Martial L. Wait, " 


. 266 

George M. Foster, " 

. 197 

Andrew E. Louokes, " 

. 266 

N. T. Giffin, Oswegatohie . 

facing 200 

Tilness Hawley, " 

. 266 

John B. Tallman, " 


etween 200, 201 

Joram Timerman, " 

. 267 

Benjamin Nevin, " 

. 202 

Lyman H. Dayton, " 

. 267 

Lewis Northrup, " 

facing 202 

John May, " 

. 267 

Beniah Morrison, " 

. 203 

Adam Scott, Lisbon . 

. 276 

Anthony Furness, " 

. 203 

Benjamin D. Wheater, Lisbon 


acing 276 

John S. Sharp, " 

. 204 

Dr. Caleb Pierce, Madrid . 

. 285 

Joseph Wheater, " 

. 204 

Hon. James F. Pierce, Madrid 

. 286 

Asa Conkey, Canton 

facing 217 

Hon. George Redington, Waddington 

. 295 

Festus Tracy, " 

between 218, 219 

Hon. James Redington, " 

. 296 

Harvey Knox, " 

" 218, 219 

Major John T. Rutherford, " 

. 297 

Judge W. H. Sawyer, Canton . 

. " 218, 219 

Henry W. Pratt, " 

. 297 

Darius Clark, " 

" 218, 219 

Calvin Abernethy, " 

. 298 

John L. Russell, " 

" 218, 219 

Walter Wilson, " 

facing 298 

Truman Barnes, " 

facing 222 

Silas Waldron, Norfolk .... 

between 300, 301 

Hon. Leslie W. Russell, " 

. 228 

Dr. William Floyd, Norfolk 

facing 302 

Pliny Wright, " 

. 229 

Chaunoey L. Shepard, " 

between 302, 303 

Wm. H. Finnimore, " 

. 229 

Perry C. Bixby, " 

. 303 

Joshua W.Finnimore, " 

. 230 

0. II. Hale, " 

. 303 

Rufus K. Jackson, " 

. 230 

Chandler Rawson, " 

. 304 

Orvillo Norton, " 

. 231 

Hczekiah B. Pierreponl, Pierrepont, 

. 308 

Samuel W. Pitt, " 

. 231 

Moses Leonard, '* 

. 308 

Aaron Barrow, Jr., " 

. 232 

Gardner Cox, " 

facing 308 

Hon. Silas Wright, 

facing 232 

Charles R. Packard, " 

. 309 

B. Miner, " 

between 232, 233 

F. A. Morrison, " 


Hon. Silas Baldwin, " 

" 232, 233 

Benjamin Butterflold, " 

• 310 





Ezra Lobdell, Canton 


Hon. Darius Moore, De Kalb 

. 360 

Appleton C. Howard, Canton 

. 311 

Hon. Blias P. Townsley, De Kalb 

. 360 

William Markwioli, Rossie 

. 317 

John Hockens, " 

. 361 

Joel Goodell, Hopkinton . 


. 322 

Elon G. Gardner, 

. 362 

Franklin E. Kellogg, Hopkinton 

facing 322 

Andrew Roulston, " 

. 362 

Hon. Jonah Sanford, " 

between 322, 323 

Stephen W. Hcmenway, " 

. 362 

John Goodell, " 

. 323 

Otis C. Jillson, De Peyster 

facing 368 

Jonah Sanford, " . 

. 323 

Russel Warren, " ... 

between 368, 369 

Captain Wm. E. Eastman, Hopkinton 

. 324 

Joel Warren, " ... 

. " 368,369 

Blias Post, 

. 324 

George Ashworth, " ... 

. 369 

Joel Witherell, 


. 324 

Benjamin F. Partridge, De Peyster . 

. 370 

Jacob and Wm. S. Phelps, 


between 324, 325 

B. W. White, Morristown . 

facing 374 

Eoyal Lawrence, 


. 325 

John E. Ingham, " . . . 

between 374, 375 

Isaac E. Hopkins, 

. 325 

Henry Hooker, " .... 

. 375 

E. W. Hopkins, 


. 325 

Augustus Chapman, " . . 

. 376 

t! H. Laughlin, 

. 325 

Jeremiah Davis, " .... 

. 376 

Dr. H. D. Laughlin, 


. 326 

The Rodger Family, Hammond . 

. 386 

Clark S. Chittenden, 


. 326 

Jas. S. More, "... 

. 387 

Eliphalet and Jason 0. Brush, 

between 326, 327 

Michael Forrester, 

. 388 

Artemas Kent, 

. " 326,327 

William Cuthbert, "... 

. 388 

Dr. Francis Parker, 

. " 326, 327 

Col. Ira Hale, Stockholm .... 

. 394 

Joseph Brush, 


. " 326,327 

John L. Mayhew, " . . 


Joseph A. Brush, 

. " 326,327 

George W. Harrington, Stockholm . 

. 395 

Parker ConTCrse, 


facing 327 

Oliver M. Emery, " 


Ansel S. Smith, Parishville 

between 328, 329 

Benjamin Reeve, " 

. 395 

W. W. Bloss (Autobiography), 


. 330 

B. G. Lewis, " 

. 396 

Samuel K. Flanders, 


between 330, 331 

James B. Pelsue, " 

. 396 

David Daggart, 


. 331 

Allen Lyman, " . . 

between 396, 397 

Hon. Parker W. Rose, 


. 332 

Samuel Tracy, Massena 

facing 401 

Allen Whipple, 



Hiram Fish, " . . . . 

. 410 

Deacon George A. Flower, 


. 334 

Horatio N. Robinson, Massena . 

. 410 

David S. Stephens, 


. 334 

Luther H. Robinson, " 

. 410 

Edwin W. Bloss, 


. 334 

The Barnhart Family, "... 

. 411 

Samuel Willis, 


. 336 

Mrs. Helen Rich, Brasher . 

. 418 

Prof. W. F. Sudds, Gouverneui 

facing 346 

T. H. Ferris, Lawrence 

facing 420 

B. W. Abbot, " 

between 346, 347 

W. S. Taggart, " .... 

between 420, 421 

Dr. S. S. Farmer, " 

. " 346, 347 

Hon. 0. F. Shepard, Lawrence . 

420, 421 

Hiram W. Hunt, " 

facing 347 

M. B. Conlin, " 

facing 421 

D. A. Johnson, " 


R. S. Palmer, " 


Francis M. Holbrook, " 

. 348 

A. E. MoBuen, " 

. 425 

Milton G. Norton, 

. ■ . . .349 

Dyer L. Merrill, " ... 

. 425 

Prof. J. Anthony Bassett, Gouverneur 

. 349 

George Berry, " ... 

. 426 

A. E. Norton, 


. 349 

Julius M. Palmer, Russell .... 

. 432 

Rev. H. C. Townley, 


. 350 

Wiers C. Fordham, " . . . . 

. 433 

Rev. N. J. Conklin, 


. 350 

Calvin H. Knox, " . . . . 

. 434 

Edward H. Neary, 


. 350 

Harry F. Knox, " . . . 


Peter Van Buren, 


between 350, 351 

Hiram Bartlett, " . . 

. 434 

S. B. Van Duzee, 


" 360, 351 

Abijah B. Shaw, '*,... 


Harvey D. and Mary H. Smith, 


" 350, 351 

Capt. Hiry Derby, " . . . 

facing 434 

Nathan Rundell, De Kalb . 


" 362, 353 

Gerry Knox, " . . . . 

between 434, 435 

Pelatiah Stacy, " 


" 364, 355 

Ezra Stiles, " . . 

. 435 

George P. Gaboon, " 

facing 356 

Ferdinand Richardson, Hermon 

. 440 

Hon. Harlow Godard, De Kalb 

between 358, 359 

William M. Scripter, " 

. 440 

James Burnett, " 

. 369 

Thomas Thornhill, " 

. 441 

Daniel 0. Stiles, " 

. 369 

Henry Gale, " 

. 441 

Abner Brees, " 


. 359 




It has been well said that " history is the memory of 
nations," and the history of a nation is but the aggregation 
of that of States, counties, towns, and individuals. The 
story of the early experience of the pioneer is the substruc- 
ture upon which rests the finished " temple of history." 
The history of a neighborhood is made up from the recol- 
lections of those who first cut away the dense forest-growth, 
and sowed the first grain, and raised the first rude log cabins 
to shelter their wives and little ones. 

The history of each school and church begins with the 
"logging bee," when the scattered neighbors collected 
together and erected a primitive building covered with bark, 
or " shakes" from the riven spruce or hemlock, where the half- 
dozen bronzed and cheaply-clad children sat on slab benches 
and listened while the " master" explained the tremendous 
problems of " Pike" and " Davie," or patiently taught the 
curly-headed youngsters their " A B abs." 

The primitive church edifice was sometimes raised in a 
couple of days, and often the early sanctuaries were " God's 
first temples," the overshadowing forest. 

The earliest roads and means of communication were the 
Indian trail and the canoe, or " dug-out," and a score of 
years elapsed after the first settlement before there were 
even passable roads for teams. 

The vast domain of St. Lawrence County comprises 2880 
square miles, is in itself equal in area to several of the 
minor States of the Union, and its history is almost equally 
important. We have endeavored, in this elaborate and beau- 
tiful volume, to give all the important facts connected with 
its various interests : Discovery and early settlement ; the 
mission of La Presentation; the military and naval operations 
of the early and later wars ; the history of its numerous 
land-titles and prominent land-holders ; the planting of its 
early schools and churches ; its organization into a separate 
county ; its courts and boards of supervisors ; the founding 
of its numerous towns and villages ; sketches of its promi- 
nent citizens, its attorneys and physicians, its political, 
agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial interests ; its 
growth and development by decades, with statistics of popu- 
lation, taxation, and wealth ; its railway and shipping inter- 
ests ; its geography, geology, etc., and the grand and noble 
part taken by its people in the terrible struggle for the 
preservation of the Union. 

A large amount of valuable information was collected by 

Dr. Hough when compiling his history of St. Lawrence 
and Franklin counties, twenty-five years ago, and this work 
has been the prolific source whence we have drawn liberally 
in the compilation of the present volume. Every published 
work bearing in any way upon the history of the county, 
and available to us, has been examined, and its facts em- 
bodied, and all portions of the county have been visited, 
" old settlers" interviewed, and their recollections utilized in 
the best possible manner. 

For purposes of convenience the work has been treated 
by subjects, as far as possible, and arranged with convenient 
index for easy reference. 

Among the numerous authorities consulted, we may men- 
tion the Documentary and Colonial History of New York, 
Hough's History of St. Lawrence, Franklin, and Jefi'erson 
Counties, Pouchot's Memoirs (a rare work), the civil list of 
the State, Parkman's Works, Writings of Champlain, Char- 
levoix, Mante, Knox, Bancroft, Albach, and other standard 
authors, various works on the history of the State, legisla- 
tive manuals. United States and State censuses, court and 
supervisors' records, libraries, records of county societies 
and of churches and schools, old newspaper-files, geological 
works, and the military records of the adjutant-general's 
office at Albany. 

In the letter-press and engraving departments, the work 
will best speak for itself; but it may be proper to say that 
the publishers flatter themselves that their numerous patrons 
will, in these respects, find nothing to be desired. 

The historical corps have everywhere met with kindly 
consideration, but the number of those who have rendered 
valuable assistance forbids an individual enumeration. We 
would, however, acknowledge ourselves under special obli- 
gations to Dr. F. B. Hough and his son, Mr. F. H. Hough , 
to county, city, and town officials, the press and clergy, 
officers and managers of societies and orders, members of 
the legal and medical fraternities, railway officers. United 
States customs officials, postmasters, and the various manu- 
facturers throughout the county. 

Acknowledgments for assistance rendered in collecting 
data for the history of the several towns will be found in 
their proper connections. 


Ogdessbckg and Canton, Jan., 1878. 


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Geography, Topography, Geology, Mineralogy, and Meteorology. 

St. Lawrence County, named from the great river on 
its northern border, is situated in the northern part of the 
State, and contains, according to the " State Gazetteer" 
(edited by Franklin B. Hough, A.M., M.D.), 2880 square 
miles, being the largest in the State. Its northern boun- 
dary is the national line, in the channel of the St. Law- 
rence, between the United States and the Dominion of 
Canada. It is bounded on the south by Hamilton and 
Herkimer counties, on the east by Franklin county, and 
on the southwest by Jefferson county. 

The principal streams are the Indian, Oswcgatchie, 
Grasse, Racket (Raquelte), and St. Regis rivers, and their 
branches. The Indian river rises in the east part of Lewis 
county, and after a very tortuous course, including a pas- 
sage through Black lake, falls into the Oswegatchie about 
four miles above Ogdensburg. The Oswegatchie rises in 
the northern part of Herkimer county, and flowing north- 
ward passes through Cranberry lake, and thence bearing 
northwest- makes a curious detour into the eastern border of 
Jefferson county, and thence flows in a northeasterly course 
to Heuvelton, where it again bears to the northwest and 
discharges into the St. Lawrence at Ogdensburg. Grass 
( Grasse) river rises in the southeastern part of the county, 
in the town of Hopkinton, where it drains Pleasant, Massa- 
wappie, and several smaller lakes and ponds. From its 
head-waters it flows northwesterly until it enters the town 
of Russell, where it deflects to the northeast, and flows with 
a uniform course in that direction to its junction with the 
St. Lawrence, in the town of Masseua. The Racket river 
(originally Raquette) has its sources in the northern part 
of Hamilton county, where it drains numerous lakes, among 
the most important of which are Emmons', Racket, and 
Long lakes. From the northeast corner of Hamilton it 
crosses the southwest corner of Franklin county, where it 
receives the waters of Dead or Tupper's lake, and flows 

thence in a general northwesterly direction to the village of 
Potsdam, where it makes a turn and flows northeasterly 
and discharges into the St. Lawrence in the northwest cor- 
ner of Franklin county, on the 45th parallel of north lati- 
tude. This is the longest stream in northern New York, 
having a course of about one hundred miles, and draining 
by an approximate estimate about 1200 square miles. The 
St. Regis rises in the southern part of Franklin county, its 
head-waters being formed by the outlets of numerous small 
lakes and ponds. Its eastern branch heads in the eastern 
part of Franklin county, where it drains Meacham's and 
numerous smaller lakes. The west branch takes a north- 
westerly course, like all the rivers in this region, and flows 
directly towards the St. Lawrence until it reaches the town 
of Stockholm, when it turns towards the northeast and 
flows in that direction to its confluence with the St. Law- 
rence at the Indian village of St. Regis, on the boundary line 
between the United States and Canada. The east branch 
flows in a general northwesterly direction, and unites with 
the west branch at the hamlet of Helena in the town of 
Brasher. The Deer river, a branch of the St. Regis, rises 
in the central part of Franklin county, and unites with the 
east branch in the south part of the town of Brasher. All 
these streams have a rapid descent from the highlands, and 
are broken by numerous falls, cascades, and rapids, which 
furnish abundant water-power. In the early days they 
were all more or less used for purposes of navigation, and 
Black lake is navigable for steam and sailing craft. A 
natural canal formerly connected the Oswegatchie and 
Grasse rivers, which was at one time considerably utilized 
for purposes of navigation by canoes and light bateaux. It 
is now entirely abandoned, and for a portion of its length 
(about five miles) is nearly dry. It originally had a de- 
scent of a few feet towards the Oswegatchie. 


There are several quite extensive lakes in the county, 
the most important of which are : Black lake, in the western 
part, which is about twenty miles in length, anS covers an 
estimated area of about fifteen square miles, or 9600 acres. 
Its waters are clear, generally deep, and abound in several 




varieties of fish. This lake contains numerous islands, and 
is walled in places by perpendicular masses of Potsdam 
sandstone, affording in many localities most beautiful 
scenery. Cranberry lake, in the southeastern part of the 
county, covers about ten square miles, according to the 
latest maps, or 6400 acres. It is situated well up in the 
highlands, in the midst of a great variety of scenery. It 
also abounds in islands. Tapper's, or Dead lake, lies partly 
in Franklin and partly in St. Lawrence counties, and is 
about the size of Cranberry lake, or perhaps somewhat less 
in area. It is in the midst of a wild forest region and ad- 
jacent to some of the highest cones of the Adirondacks. 
Numerous other less important lakes are found in various 
parts of the county, among which are Trout and Jordan 
lakes, in Hopkinton ; Silver lake, in Fowler ; Trout and 
Cedar lakes, in Hermon ; and Yellow lake, in Rossie. 


in the St. Lawrence, abounds in the most beautiful scenery 
on the continent, and the grand river itself is unrivaled 
on the globe for the purity of its deep blue waters, and the 
ever-changing variety and beauty of its splendid scenery. 
Its shores abound in points of historic interest, which, to 
the uneducated traveler, are a constant source of enjoy- 
ment ; and the isteady flow of its waters, which are never 
affected by storms, its enormous volume, its grand reaches, 
where it spreads out like the sea, and its wonderful rapids, 
all combine to make it one of the most interesting streams 
to be found on the earth. 

The following extract is from " Weld's Journal," written 
in 1799, and published in Dr. Hough's History of Jefferson 
County, in 1854. In speaking of the Lake of the Thousand 
Islands, he says, — 

"About 8 o'clock the next and eighth morning of oar voyage ire 
entered the last lake before you come to that of Ontario, called the 
Lake of a Thousand Islands, on account of the multiplicity of them 
which it contains. Many of these islands are scarcely larger than a 
bateau, and none of them, except such as are situated at the upper 
and lower extremities of the lake, appeared to me to contain more 
than fifteen English acres each. They are all covered with wood, 
eveir to the very smallest. The trees on these last are stunted in 
their growth, but the larger islands produce as fine timber as is to be 
found on the main shores of the lake. Many of these islands are 
situated so closely together that it would be easy to throw a pebble 
from one to the other, notwithstanding which circumstance the pas- 
sage between them is perfectly safe and commodious for bateaux, and 
between some of them that are even thus close to each other is water 
sufficient for a frigate. The water is uncommonly clear, as it is in 
every part of the river from Lake St. Francis upwards; between that 
lake and the Utawas river downwards it is discolored, as I have be- 
fore observed, by passing over beds of marl. The shores of all these 
islands under our notice are rocky; most of thein rise very boldly, 
and some exhibit perpendicular masses of rock towards the water up- 
wards of twenty feet high. The scenery presented to view in sailing 
between these islands is beautiful in the highest degree. Sometimes, 
after passing through a narrow strait, you find yourself in a basin, 
land-locked on every side, that appears to have no communication with 
the lake, except by the passage through which you entered ; you are 
looking about, perhaps, for an outlet to enable you to proceed, think- 
ing at last to see some little channel which will just admit your 
bateiiu, when, on a sudden, an expanded sheet of water opens upon 
you, whose boundary is the horizon alone ; again in a few minutes 
you find yourself land-looked, and again a spacious passage as sud- 
denly presents itself; at other times, when in the middle of one of 
these basins, between a cluster of islands, a dozen different channels, 
like so many noble rivers, meet the eye, perhaps equally unexpeet- 


edly, and on each side the islands appear regularly retiring till they 
sink from the sight in the distance. Every minute during the pas- 
sage of this lake the prospect varies. ... The Lake of a Thousand 
Islands is twenty-five miles in length, and about six in breadth. 

The celebrated poet, Thomas Moore, visited the St. Law- 
rence in the early part of the present century, and the 
magnificent scenery of the noble river naturally excited 
the enthusiasm of a temperament delicately sensitive to 
the beauties of nature, so strikingly reflected in his poems. 
The boatmen were accustomed to beguile the tedium of 
rowing by singing, their voices being perfectly attuned 
and the whole crew joining in the chorus. Of its effect 
he says, — 

'• Without the charm which association gives to every little memo- 
rial of scenes or feelings that are past, the melody may perhaps be 
thought common and trifling; but I remember when we had entered 
at sunset upon one of those beautiful lakes into which the St. Law- 
rence so grandly and unexpectedly opens, I have heard this simple 
air with a pleasure which the finest compositions of the first masters 
have never given me; and now there is not a note of it which does 
not recall to my memory the dips of our oars in the St. Lawrence, 
the flight of our boat down the rapids, and all those new and fanciful 
impressions to which my heart was alive during the whole of this 
interesting voyage." 


" Faintly as tolls the evening chime 
Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time ; 
Soon as the woods on the shore look dim, 
We'll sing at St. Ann's our parting hymn. 
Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast, 
The rapids are near and the daylight's past ! 

"Why should we yet our sail unfurl ? 
There is not a breath the blue wave to curl ! 
But, when the wind blows off the shore, 
Oh, sweetly we'll rest our weary oar! 
Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fast, 
The rapids are near and the daylight's past ! 

" Utawa'3 tide ! this trenlbling moon 
Shall see us float o'er thy surges soon : 
Saint of this green isle ! hear our prayers, 
Oh, grant us cool heavens and favoring airs ! 
Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fast, 
The rapids are near and the daylight's past !" 


The surface of St. Lawrence County covers so vast an 
area that it necessarily shows great variety, from the high- 
lands of the Adirondacks in the southeast to the champaign 
region lying adjacent and parallel to the St. Lawrence. J 
The loftiest elevations are about 2000 feet above tide-water 
at Albany, the general elevation of the southeastern portion 
being about 1000 feet. The surface in the more even por- 
tions is broken, more or less, by parallel ridges of primitive 
and secondary formation ; and the western portions, particu- 
larly in the towns of Rossie and Macomb, are somewhat 

A very peculiar feature of the topography of the county 
is t^e curious course which its principal inland streams 
pursue. The Oswegatchie, Grasse, Raquette, and St. Regis 
rivers, all rising in the highlands, flow for about one-half to 
two-thirds of their course directly towards the St. Lawrence, 
when they make sudden and sometimes — as is the case 
with the Oswegatchie — very acute angles, and flow from 



thence to their union with the great river in courses almost 
parallel to that stream. The Oswegatchie is an exception, 
though, in former times it connected by a sort of natural 
canal with Grasse river, and very possibly at one period 
poured its waters through that channel to the northeast. 
The reason of this peculiarity is undoubtedly found in the 
ridge-like formations before spoken of, which trend gen- 
erally in a northeast and southwest direction. Tlie Chip- 
pewa creek, in Morristown and Hammond, curiously enough, 
flows in a direction exactly contrary to that followed by the 
St. Lawrence. The middle and western portions of the 
county are somewhat broken by protruding masses of the 
Potsdam sandstone. Tlie northern and northea.stern por- 
tions are generally level or slightly undulating. 


The following articles upon these subjects are from Dr. 
Hough's History of the County. 

From the accompanying map it will be seen that the 

stone, etc., which of themselves often become rock forma- 
tions. The boundaries of the gneiss rock are very nearly 
as follows. They constitute the Thousand islands, the last 
of which lie before Morristown, although both shores of 
the St. Lawrence are here composed of newer rock. A 
narrow strip of this rock extends from Chippewa bay, up 
the valley of the creek of tliat name, two or three miles, 
being bounded on each side by a formation which geologists 
have named Potsdam sandstone, of which a further account 
will be given hereafter. The gneiss rock next enters the 
county from Jefferson, near the line of the military road 
in Hammond, and its northern margin runs nearly in a 
direct line to Black lake, and forms all the islands in that 
water, although the north shore is sandstone. It leaves 
the lake in De Peyster, and runs across that town, De Kalb, 
and Canton, leaving the most of these towns underlaid by 
gneiss, and passes across a small part of Potsdam into 
Parishville and the southern part of the settlements in 
Hopkinton, and thence through townships Nos. 7, 8, and 9 

op K 


v.* 1 


southern part of the county is underlaid by primary rock, 
composed of varieties of granite, gneiss, and white or pri- 
mary limestone, which often show, in the structure and mode 
of arrangement, that they have been at some period sub- 
jected to the action of heat. The constituents of these prim- 
itive rocks are generally quartz, hornblendej and feldspar, 
arranged in irregular and often very tortuous strata or layers, 
which are generally highly inclined. This peculiar mixture 
and arrangement of simple minerals is denominated gneiss 
rock. When stratification is wanting it becomes sienite, and 
when mica takes the place of hornblende it is called granite. 
A great variety of minerals occur in gneiss rock in certain 
localities, and it is a valuable repository of lead and iron 
ores. In some places simple minerals occur in large quanti- 
ties, to the exclusion of everything else, as serpentine, limo- 

of Franklin county, and the northern edge of Belmont. 
With small exceptions to bo mentioned, near Somerville, 
the whole of the country south of this line is primary, and 
to this region metallic ores, except bog ores, must be neces- 
sarily limited. At the 'village of Potsdam the same rock 
comes up to the surface, like an island in the midst of sand- 
stone, and at other places the same thing is observed. How- 
ever irregular the strata of gneiss may be, they will gen- 
erally be found to dip or slope down towards the north, 
which explains a remark made by Mr. Wright in his early 
surveys, that the mountains [like all in the southern forest] 
afford very good land on the north side, and gradually de- 
scending, but on the south side have high, perpendicular 

The extensive forest of northern New York is underlaid 



entirely by primary rock, which seems to have been thrust 
up through newer formations that surround it. In some 
places the latter are thrown into an inclined position by 
this intruded mass. Gneiss rock has but few useful appli- 
cations. In early times (and still for coarse grinding) it 
was used for millstones, and in some places it occurs suita- 
ble for building ; but is generally too hard to be wrought 
with profit. In the south part of Canton a very fine-grained 
and durable variety occurs, which has a uniform gray color 
and close texture that recommends it where permanence is 
required. Towards the western part of St. Lawrence 
County white limestone is of common occurrence with this 
formation, and it has given rise to much discussion whether 
the limestone be primitive and coeval with the gneiss, or 
whether it he a later deposit altered by heat. One fact is 
well established, viz., that the white limestone underlies the 
sandstone, and many instances of this occur in Rossie, Ant- 
werp, etc. Examples are also found where this limestone 
underlies or mingles with the granite, as at Lyndhurst, in 

This limestone has been used to some extent as a marble, 
and mills for sawing it have existed in Rossie and Fbwler ; 
but its coarse, crystalline texture impairs its value, except 
for the more massive kinds of architecture. For the manu- 
facture of lime, however, there is probably nowhere in the 
world a material that will surpass this. It is generally in 
this rock, or along the line of junction with the gneiss, that 
the more splendid varieties of minerals occur that are so 
eagerly sought by collectors. In agricultural capabilities, 
the soil underlaid by primary rock varies in quality, and 
seems to be, in a measure, dependent upon the prevalence 
of limestone and the nature and amount of the loose drifted 
materials that overlie it. The northern border of the State, 
and for a great distance into Canada, is underlaid by rocks 
of a more recent period, in which lime is an important in- 
gredient, and these give character to the soil for a con- 
siderable distance south, which can scarcely be said to diifer 
from that immediately above them. 

The surface of the primary is generally more or less 
broken by ridges of rock, often rising but little above the 
surface. These ridges have a prevailing direction of north- 
east and southwest, which gives to the rivers tributary to 
the St. Lawrence their general course, and occasions the 
remarkable flexures so strikingly noticed in the OswegatcTiie 
and Indian rivers, which flow in natural valleys for a con- 
siderable distance between ridges of gneiss. Towards the 
southern borders of St. Lawrence County the upheavals be- 
come of greater altitude, and as we go into the eastern part 
of this, and southern part of Franklin county, they attain 
the altitude of mountains, which in Essex reach an altitude 
of 5400 feet ; being only exceeded, in the region lying east 
of the MLssissippi river, by the Black mountains of North 
Carolina and the White mountains of New Hampshire, the 
former of which reach 6900 feet. These bald and sterile 
peaks support but a scanty vegetation, and overlook in- 
numerable ponds and lakes, with fertile intervales ; but 
thousands of acres will be found wholly unfit for tillage, and 
of no value beyond the timber on the surface or the iron 
ores beneath it. These lands form a elevated plateau, liable 
to liite spring and early autumnal frosts, but adapted to 

grazing, the uplands afibrding pasturage and the intervales 
meadows. Of minerals interesting to the collector it has 
none, but it abounds in iron ores, which will hereafter em- 
ploy the industry of great numbers, as it unites the three 
essentials of ore, water-power, and fuel, to which, in a great 
degree, has been added, in the Northern railroad, an ac- 
cess to market. From an elevation of 1600 feet the surface 
uniformly descends to the St. Lawrence, and in Franklin 
county, from the greater elevation, the descent is more 
perceptible, so that from almost any prominent point the 
lower country north may be overlooked to a great extent, 
and the majestic St. Lawrence, reduced to a silver line in 
the blue distance, with the Canadian villages dotted here 
and there, and the obscure outline of northern mountains 
faintly appearing on the horizon, give a peculiar beauty to 
the landscape. 

Lying directly upon the gneiss, or in some instances 
upon the limestone, is a rock which presents a great variety 
of structure, called by geologists Potsdam sandstone, from 
its great abundance above that village, and its remarkable 
adaptation for building purposes which it there exhibits. 
Perhaps no material in the world surpasses in cheapness, 
elegance, and durability the Potsdam sandstone, where it 
occurs in even-bedded strata, as in the towns of Potsdam, 
Canton, Stockholm, etc. The sharpness of outline which 
it preserves in localities where it has been exposed to the 
weather for centuries indicates its durability. Walls made 
of this stone never present the mouldy, decaying appear- 
ance common to walls of limestone in damp situations. It 
cleaves into slabs three or four inches thick and several 
feet in length, and when first exposed to the air it readily 
breaks, when laid over a straight edge, with carefully re- 
peated blows of a stone hammer, into pieces of any desirable 
size with the greatest freedom. Exposure to the air hardens 
it in a little time, and it thenceforth is fitted for any pur- 
pose of paving, or the walls of building, for which uses it is 
unsurpassed. Walls laid with alternate courses of broad 
and narrow stone present a very neat and substantial ap- 

The sandstone enters Rossie from Jefferson county, be- 
tween the Oswegatchie and the iron mines, and runs across 
that town about two miles into Gouverneur. The south 
margin of this rock conforms to the course we have traced 
as the boundary of the gneiss, and it underlies some of the 
most valuable farming lands of northern New York. A 
feature will be observed in the district underlaid by the 
sandstone, which is quite general, and is due to the little 
liability to disintegration which it exhibits, namely, the 
absence of gentle swells and sloping declivities. Wherever 
valleys occur their margins are usually bounded by abrupt 
precipices of naked rock, and where deep ravines have been 
wrought by running streams, as at the falls on the Chateau- 
gay river, the banks present bold projecting and overhang- \ 
ing cliff's, with intervening spaces, where from frost or 
running streams portions have been thrown down or swept 
away, leaving detached and almost isolated masses standing. 
In Hammond are localities in which outstanding masses 
of this rock, of the same height as the main body but separa- 
ted from it, often occur. In texture the sandstone differs 
greatly, being at times fine-grained and uniformly stratified, 



as at all the quarries where it is wrought, and at times 
made up of angular or rounded masses of various sizes, 
cemented together, with little symmetry or appearance of 
stratification. It is among the last of these that several 
curious instances of structure exist, which indicate in them- 
selves some of the causes that must have operated when the 
deposits were going on. Ripple niarles are of common 
occurrence, proving that they formed the shores of ancient 
seas, by which the sands were thrown into slight undulating 
ridges, exactly as is seen on the borders of existing waters. 
In some places the rock is made up of balls, having a con- 
centric structure like the coats of an onion, usually with a 
pebble as a nucleus, as if they had been formed by rolling 
over the surface, receiving an addition from the adhesion of 
sand, as we sometimes see snow-balls rolled up by the wind 
on the surface of snow. In the vicinity of the iron mines 
of Rossie this spheroidal structure is very common, and 
makes up the whole rock. They are of all sizes, from a 
pea to an orange. But perhaps there is no structure, 
either of this or of any rock, more worthy of study than 
the remarkable cylindricnl stratification frequently observed 
in Rossie, Antwerp, Tlieresa, etc. These cylinders are 
vertical, and of all diameters, from two inches up to twenty 
feet or more, and their section, .whore exposed to the surface, 
shows them to be made of concentric strata of sand of dif- 
ferent colors and degrees of fineness, firmly consolidated 
and capable of being detached, when they present to the 
casual observer the appearance of huge logs of wood, which 
has led to their being called '• petrified logs." This sand- 
stone contains but few evidences of organic existence, these 
being limited to obscure fucoids and one or two bivalve 
shells. At times the ripple marks have been seen much 
like sea-weeds in their arrangement, and the fracture and 
cleavage of the stone near Potsdam has at times shown a 
moss-like ramification, which may be due to manganese. 
The cylinders at times encroach upon each other, the last 
formed being perfect, while the older one has its stratifi- 
cation interrupted by the other. No rational theory has 
occurred to us by which this wonderful structure could be 
explained, other than that they were formed by vortices or 
whirlpools playing upon the surface of water and imparting 
their gyratory motions to the mobile sands of the bottom, 
which has since become consolidated and remains. 

The Potsdam sandstone is bordered, along the St. Law- 
rence and extending back a few miles, by the culciferons 
sandstone, which presents at many places near Ogdensbui-g 
definite fossil remains, which are, however, limited to a few 
species. Among these are many obscure masses, with a 
texture that indicates them to have been sponges, or the 
lower orders of zoophytes, which have never been studied 
with the view of scientific interest. In an economical point 
of view this rock is of importance, both as a building stone 
and as material for lime, for which, however, it is far in- 
ferior to the white hmestone of the primary region. At 
Massena and at Waddington water lime has been manu- 
factured from this rock, but this is not now done. 

The above enumerated form the principal of our rock 
formations, but over them all is more or less extensively and 
very unequally spread a mass of soil, sand, clay, and bowlders 
of rock, much of which bears evidence of having been 

drifted, by agencies that have long since ceased, from more 
northern localities, and deposited in its present form. This 
has received the name of Drift, and its study forms one of 
the most instructive departments of practical geology. Evi- 
dences of its northern origin may be found in our ability 
to often trace loose masses of rook to the parent source, and 
especially to the polished and scratched surface of rocks 
when exposed, which bear testimony to the fact that they 
have been ground and furrowed by moving masses, which 
the direction of the scratches certify was from a northerly 
quarter. The evidence of the grinding of solid bodies 
moving in water is often observed along streams at the 
present day. 

Near Cooper's falls, in De Kalb, may be seen a cavity 
of several feet in depth which has been worn in this way, 
but it is at a level far above the present river ; and in the 
gneiss rock, near the Ox Bow, in the edge of Jetforson 
county, is another example, which occurs on the face of a 
clifi' some seventy feet in height, and is of so remarkable a 
nature as to have attracted general curiosity. The pot- 
shaped cavity is about 18 feet deep and 10 wide at the 
largest part. It derives its name from its having been used 
as a pulpit on several occasions when the settlements were 
new. In one instance a Methodist quarterly meeting is said 
to have been held at the foot of this rock. In De Kalb an 
instance is observed in which the strata of sandstone have 
been pressed into waves. This locality is mentioned by 
Prof. Emmons as being eighty rods north of De Kalb vil- 
lage. At another locality the strata are broken up, which 
proves that these masses have been subjected to motion 
since formed and consolidated. Tortuous strata in the gneiss 
are extremely common, but nowhere can this be studied 
with better advantage than on the summit of the hill 
towards Hammond, in the village of Rossie. Accumula- 
tions of drift are of common occurrence in Rossie, near 
Sprague's Corners, in Hermon, Pierrepont, Parishville, Hop- 
kinton, etc. 

There is above the drift still another formation, consisting of 
sands and clays, and containing shells unchanged in texture, 
and of the species now living in the Arctic seas, which 
skirts the northern border of the two counties, from Ogdens- 
burg, eastward, to which, from its extensive occurrence in 
the valley of the St. Lawrence, the term Laurentian deposit- 
has been proposed. It exists in Canada over a great extent, 
and also in the valley of Lake Champlain. The railroad 
cutting east of Ogdenburg was through this, and multitudes 
of the fossil shells of species named by naturalists Saxicava 
riiffosa, Tellina groardandica, and a few others occur, and 
may be gathered in quantities. The clay beds at Eayniond- 
ville, which have a peculiar columnar structure very much 
like starch, and no signs of stratification whatever, contain 
shells of the same species, proving that they belong to a 
marine formation of a comparatively recent period. These 
recent fossils occur in ravines throughout a considerable part 
of the northern border of Franklin county. 

Of a still more recent period are the bog ores still form- 
ing in swamps, the deposits of lime from a few springs, and 
the detritus brought down by rivers and left at their mouths, 
of which the rvsh led. at the mouth of the Oswegatchic, 
before the village of Ogdensburg, is an instance. 




Among the remarkable features of the primary are trap 
dykes (of which many very interesting instances occur in 
Eossie, especially near Wegatchie) and metallic veins. As 
it is designed to render this notice of practical utility, many 
subjects of a theoretical nature will be passed. Of metallic 
veins, those of lead, copper, and zinc are the principal, and 
of the first that at Rossie is pre-eminent. Indefinite reports 
of lead, silver, etc., based upon Indian traditions, were 
common among the early proprietors, and much effort was 
made to discover the localities, among which one said to 
exist near the sources of Grasse river was sought after. 
At Rossie lead ore occurs in several veins, which descend 
nearly vertical, and the ores are associated with iron pyrites, 
calcite, celestine, anglesite, and many other minerals. At 
the mines on Black lake, at Mineral point, zinc blende oc- 
curs in considerable quantities, and also, to some extent, with 
the galena of the St. company's mines in Macomb. 
We consider the fact settled beyond a doubt, that lead ore 
exists in quantities that will possibly render its mining very 
lucrative in St. Lawrence County, and, from the discoveries 
that are being made, it is probable that many new and val- 
uable localities will hereafter be opened. In all cases, so 
far as observed, this metal exists in true veins, with definite 
walls, and the geological features of the country are such 
as experience in other mining districts has shown favorable 
to the probabilities of ore in profitable quantities. 


An association, styling itself the St. Lawrence Copper 
Company, was formed under the exertions of H. H. Bigelow, 
of Boston, in 1846, for the purpose of working mines of 
copper in northern New York, and mining operations on a 
small scale were commenced in several places, but more ex- 
tensively on the farm of Hubbard Clark, near the south 
line of Canton, where several thousand dollars were ex- 
pended in the erection of machinery, and in sinking a shaft 
about sixty feet deep, with short levels. The ore occurs 
here in white limestone, containing occasional crystals of 
brown tourmaline, and with the yellow sulphuret of copper. 
It formed a regular vein of one foot in width in some places, 
and was associated with calcite, iron pyrites, and occasional 
stains of the green and blue carbonates of copper. The 
calcite of this place was at times found in crystals of huge 
proportions, coated with minute crystals of pearl spar. It 
is said that some eighty tons of ore had been procui'od when 
the workings were suspended, and a small mass of native 
copper was reported to have been found near the locality. 
A reverberatory furnace was erected at Russell village for 
working these ores, and others from Wilna, Jefierson county, 
but never got in operation. Mr. Bigelow subsequently 
went to California, and afterwards died of cholera in San 
Francisco. Since the above period, no eff'ort has been made 
to mine for copper, although in several places specimens of 
ore occur in such circumstances as to excite the belief that 
it exists in valuable quantities. 


Next after the agricultural and manufacturing facilities 
of northera New York, her iron mines may be ranked 

among the elements of her wealth. These ores are of three 
distinct varieties, differing essentially in geological age, 
chemical characters, mineral associates, and the qualities 
of iron which they produce. These are the primitive or 
m.agnetic, the specular, and the hog ores. The former, 
although of great abundance, mostly occur in sections yet 
unsettled, and difficult of access, in Pitoairn, Clifton, Chau- 
mont, Sherwood, etc. It is this variety of ore that is so 
largely wrought in Clinton and Essex counties, and that 
forms the wealth of Sweden. It is known to mineralogists 
as magnetite, from its being magnetic. Its mineral asso- 
ciates are few, being quartz, pyrites, and pyroxene ; from 
its being magnetic, it is readily separated from stone by 
being crushed and passed under revolving magnets, which 
pick up the particles of ore. It is sparingly distributed 
through most of our gneiss rock, and the particles, loosened 
by disintegration, form the black sand so uniformly seen on 
the borders of the lakes in the primary region. This sand 
often troubles the compass of the surveyor, and has led to 
the belief of mines of iron ore, in localities where nothing 
but iron sand existed. Specular and bog ores have no 
effect upon the magnetic needle. Primitive ore is dilBeuk 
to melt, but makes good iron, and yields about seventy per 
cent. Some varieties make an iron that is exceedingly hard, 
as was the case with that wrought in Duane, which led to 
the belief that edge-tools having the hardness and temper of 
steel could be cast directly from the furnace. This, about 
the year 1840, led to much inquiry, and a resolution was 
passed by the assembly in the session of 1841 calling upon 
Prof Emmons, the geologist of the second district, em- 
bracing the northern part of the State, for information re- 
specting this ore. In the report which this called forth, it 
was stated that the ore was a mixture of the protoxide and 
deutoxide of iron, two varieties chemically differing in the 
amount of oxygen contained, but mechanically mixed in 
this instance, and that a part of the ore being first reduced, 
united with the carbon of the fuel, and became true steel, 
while the other part was melting. Although the edge-tools 
stood the test of experiment, the opinion was expressed that 
they would not bear continued use, and this has been fully 
sustained by experience, which has shown that they will 
soon crumble and break. In his final report, the geologist 
expressed his belief that the ores of Duane did not possess 
properties differing from those of Essex county. The iron 
from those ores is'very hard, and well suited for those uses 
that require this property. 

The specular ores, so called from the splendid lustre of 
the crystals of Elba and other localities, occur under two 
varieties, distinct in situation and accompanying minerals. 
The least important of these is the crystalline variety, oc- 
curring in gneiss and white limestone, often beautifully crys- 
tallized in plates, and of variable and uncertain quantities, 
liable to thin out and again become wide. It has not hitherto 
been wrought with profit. A mine in Edwards has yielded 
about eighty tons, which made excellent malleable iron. 
Quartz, apparently in twelve-sided crystals, formed by join- 
ing the bases of two six-sided pyramids, but really having 
a short prism between, is usually found with this ore, and 
cavities lined with crystalline groups of these minerals form 
splendid cabinet specimens. 



Between the gneiss and sandstone, and not elsewhere, 
occurs a red, compact ore, chemically like the last, but so 
unlike to the eye as not to be classed with it, and this has 
hitherto been the ore most largely used in St. Lawrence, 
Jefferson, and Lewis counties, for the manufacture of iron. 
The oldest of these mines is the Caledonia mine in Rossie, 
and has been more or less wrought since 1812. A few 
rods distant on the line of Gouverneur is the Kearney iron 
mine, which was discovered by Lyman Adams, in 1825, 
and produced about 50,000 tons of ore of excellent quality 
up to 1852. It has been manufactured at the Carthage, 
Louisburg, FuUerville, Freemansburg, Alpina, Redwood, 
Wegatchie, Sterlingville, Antwerp, and Rossie furnaces. 
It has been worked as an open pit to the depth of fifty feet, 
and an area of about a quarter of an acre. At first it ap- 
peared as a hillock not covered by other rock. The Cale- 
donia mine is capped by sandstone, and has been wrought 
into caverns, with huge masses of ore left to support the 
roof Several very valuable mines of this ore occur along 
the junction of the primary and sandstone in Jefferson 
county, and it has been wrought to some extent near the 
village of Little York, in Fowler, since 1833. A part of 
this mine was purchased by the owners of Louisburg fur- 
nace several years since, and the remainder has been wrought 
at a tribute of from two to fourshillings per ton to the owners. 
The ore here occurs in a hill of moderate elevation, and lies 
directly upon the gneiss, which has been uncovered to a 
considerable extent, although large quantities still exist. 
These red ores impart their color to whatever comes in con- 
tact with them, giving a characteristic tinge to every person 
and object about the premises. They are never crystallized, 
but occur in every variety of lamellar, slaty, botryoidal, and 
pulverulent forms, and in some cases cavities are found 
lined with beautiful and peculiar crystallizations of carbonate 
of lime, spathic iron, heavy spar, arragonite, quartz, iron 
pyrites, and more rarely cacoxene or chalcodite, and Mil- 
lerite, the latter being the rarest and most beautiful of its 
associates. It occurs in but one of our localities in bril- 
liant, needle-shaped crystals, radiating from a centre like 
the fibres of thistle-down, and having the color and bril- 
liancy of gold. Groups of crystalline specimens of these 
minerals often form objects of great beauty. This variety 
of ore is constantly associated with a mineral much like 
serpentine, named by Prof C. U. Shepard dysynlribite, of 
which further notice will be given. In some form or other 
this always makes its appearance in the mines, often in such 
large masses as to displace the ore, and render necessary an 
outlay to remove it. It is of every shade of green, yellow, 
and red, oft«u mixed in the same specimen, and its surfaces 
are many times grounded and polished, as if it had slipped 
under great pressure, and before entirely solid. No profit- 
able locality of red ore occurs east of the town of Gouver- 
neur, although at the junction of the two formations in 
Pierrepont a reddish, pulverulent mass occurs, which has 
been ground and used as a paint. In some localities this ore 
bears unmistakable evidence of former igneous action, as 
shown by the contorted, folded, and e,yen fused appearance 
of the laminae of which it is composed. Should this 
theory be correct, there must have been a peculiar suscepti- 
bility of the surface along the line of the two formations. 

where from its weakness it yielded to the forces from be- 
low. In Gouverneur, near the Little Bow, is a locality of 
soft, unctuous, ore-like substance, occurring in white lime- 
stone. The red ores yield about fifty per cent, in the large 
way, as shown by our statistics of the Rossie furnace. It 
has been noticed that castings from this ore shrink a little 
upon cooling, which requires the patterns to be a little 
larger than the article to be made, while those from primi- 
tive ores lose nothing from this, the iron being probably 
more crystalline. 

Bog ores are rather rare in the primary district, but more 
common in swamps in Madrid, Norfolk, Louisville, Bom- 
bay, Westville, etc., from which supplies for the furnaces 
at Waddington, Norfolk, and Brasher Iron Works have 
been derived, and they have supplied several forges. In 
favorable localities these superficial deposits are renewed 
after being dug over, and thus successive crops are obtained 
once in a dozen or twenty years. This ore makes very soft, 
tenacious iron. A mixture of the primitive, red, and bog 
ores, in equal parts, was thought to make the best specimen 
of iron ever produced in northern New York. Bog ores 
seldom yield more than twenty or twenty-five per cent. 


St. Lawrence has long enjoyed a deserved celebrity for 
the variety and beauty of its minerals, which indicates the 
propriety of giving a notice of the more important of these, 
as well for a guide to the mineralogist as to convey to the 
inhabitants themselves a just idea of the mineral wealth of 
their own neighborhoods, and perhaps serve to awaken a 
spirit of inquiry and observation, especially among the 
youth, that will be productive of the best results. A neatly 
arranged mineral cabinet bespeaks the taste and intelligence 
of its possessor, and one need not travel beyond the pre- 
cincts of St. Lawrence County to collect one that shall pos- 
sess both elegance and value, and be as remarkable for 
variety as beauty. It is conceded that this county is unri- 
valed for the variety of its mineral treasures, and this 
pre-eminence should be known and appreciated by its citi- 

Agate occurs with chalcedony, near Silver lake, in Fowler. 

Albite, or white feldspar, is a common constituent of 
gneiss, in the towns underlaid by that rock, Gouverneur, 
Rossie, etc. 

Amethyst, to a limited extent, in Gouverneur and on the 
banks of Yellow lake, in Rossie. 

Amphlbole (basaltic hornblende) occurs frequently in 
bowlders, but not in rock formations. In the town of 
Rossie it has hitherto been noticed most abundantly. 

Anglesite (sulphate of lead) occurred sparingly in the 
lead mines of Rossie, with galena. 

Anherite (a variety of dolomite, containing iron) has 
been attributed to the iron mines of Rossie, but it scarcely 
differs from the spathic iron of that region, and cannot be 
distinguished from it, if it exists, except by chemical tests. 

Apatite (phosphate of lime), crystallized in six-sided 
prisms, occurs at several localities in the white limestone 
formation in St. Lawrence County. At the Clark hill, in 
Rossie, small, but very pretty, crystals have been found ; it 
also occurs near the head of Mile bay, on Black lake, and 



north of Somerville, in Gouverneur ; but tlie finest locality 
hitherto observed in the county is on the farm of Michael 
and Charles Harder, in the town of Rossie. Crystals 
weighing eighteen pounds, and twelve inches in length, 
have been obtained here, and those of less size, but finely 
terminated, are more common. It is used in the process of 
assaying gold and silver ores, and would command a high 
price for this purpose in the markets. The locality in 
Rossie was first noticed and wrought by Professor Emmons. 

Abestus, of a brown color, with fibres interlocking each 
other in a very intricate manner, occurs in the town of 
Fowler, between the villages of Little York and FuUer- 
ville. It does not possess the quality of tenacity, or the 
property of being easily beaten up into a fibrous mass, 
which gives value to this mineral in the arts, as a constit- 
uent of incombustible cloth, or a non-conductor of heat, 
for the packing of iron safes. 

Arragonite (needle spar) occurs in the iron mines, near 
Somerville, in beautiful white globular masses, in cavities 
of iron ore. When broken these present a silken white 
radiated structure. The best that have been obtained came 
from a shaft sunk in the land of Mr. Parish, adjacent to 
the Kearney mine. From its occurrence with the ores of 
iron, this mineral is sometimes called flos-fenl, or the 
flowers of iron. 

Bahingionite has been said to occur in Gouverneur, 
coating crystals of feldspar. The locality, if it existed, has 
been lost. 

Blende (sulphuret of zinc) was found, associated with 
galena, at the lead mines at Rossie, at Mineral point, in the 
town of Macomb, and in the towns of Fowler, Morristown, 
and De Kalb. 

, Calcareous tufa, formed by the deposit of carbonate of 
lime, from springs, is of common occurrence in Rossie, 
Gouverneur, and other towns. At some localities it is 
found imitating in form the fibres of moss, of which it is 
popularly believed to be the petrification. This structure 
is found to occur where no vegetable matter could have ex- 
isted to give it the peculiar appearance. 

Calcite (carbonate of lime) occurs in many localities, 
and is afforded at almost every mine that has been wrought, 
but at none with more brilliancy and beauty than at the 
lead mines at Rossie and Mineral point. Limpid crystals, 
of great size, often with cavities containing water, occurred 
here, and the modifications of form and combination of 
groups of crystals appeared to be infinite. On the right 
side of the Oswegatchie, two miles above the Kearney 
bridge, in the town of Gouverneur, in an oven-shaped cavity 
in limestone rook, and imbedded in clay, are crystals of 
great size, rough externally, but when broken quite trans- 
parent. A specimen more than a foot in length, nearly 
transparent, and weighing seventy-five pounds, was procured 
by Charles S. Bolton, of Wegatchie, from this locality. 
Peculiar modifications occur at the locality of pearl spar, 
in Rossie. Just within the edge of Jefferson county, in 
the same range with the last locality, on the farm of Mr. 
Benton, a very interesting locality of calcite occurs. On 
the left bank of the Oswegatchie, near the natural dam in 
Gouverneur, large crystals of calcite occur. The iron mines 
of Eossie afford crystals, usually of the dog-tooth form in 

cavities of iron ore. The mines of the St. Lawrence Lead 
Mining Company, in Macomb, have furnished some inter- 
esting specimens of a smoky hue, and others tinged red. In 
the town of Pitcairn, calcite, of a sky-blue color, in coarse 
crystalline masses, occurs on the south road, about two miles 
from Green's mill. At the copper mine, in Canton, crystals 
of calcite, nearly limpid, often a great size, and frequently 
coated with pearl spar, were found. 

Cdestine (sulphate of strontia), in crystals of a beautiful 
blue tint, was found in working Coal Hill mine, in Rossie. 

Chalcedony occurs at a locality in Fowler, in interesting 
concretionary forms, but destitute of that polished surface 
which is common with this mineral. 

Chlorite occasionally occurs in bowlders, but not in rock 
formation, in the northern part of the State. It is often 
associated with epidote. 

Clwndrodite, with its usual associates, spinelle, occurs in 
the town of Rossie abundantly, about three-fourths of a mile 
west of the village of Somerville. It is of every shade of 
yellow, inclining tg orange and brown, and is diffused in 
grains and small crystalline particles through the white 
limestone, appearing in relief on the weathered surface. 
Detached bowlders on the shores of Yellow lake contain 
the same mineral, and it is said to occur in, situ, near the 
Clark hill, in Rossie. 

Dolomite, or magnesian limestone, is of frequent occur- 
rence, but not in sufiicient quantities to give it geological 
importance. Rossie, Gouverneur, De Kalb, etc. 

Dysyntrihite occurs at all localities of red iron ore. 

Epidote, granular and disseminated, in chlorite is com- 
mon in bowlders, but not in place. 

Feldspar occurs abundantly throughout the primitive 
region, but at only a few localities of sufficient interest to 
merit notice. On the Clark hill, in Rossie, crystals occur 
of considerable interest. 

Fluor Spar. — One of the most celebrated American 
localities of this mineral was discovered many years since, 
on Muscalunge lake, in Antwerp, near the borders of St. 
Lawrence County. Massive cubes, variously grouped, and 
at times presenting single crystalline faces a foot in extent, 
were here found. In Gouverneur, two miles north from the 
GriSith bridge, a limited quantity was also found. Near 
the Rock island bridge, in the same town, it has recently 
been found in considerable quantity and of fine quality. 
This mineral is employed as a flux for separating metals 
from their ores, and in making fluoric acid, the most corro- 
sive substance known, and which is used in etching upon 
• glass, and in the daguerreotype process. 

Galena (sulphuret of lead) occurs in Rossie and Ma- 
comb in quantities which will, hereafter render these towns 
of great importance. Has also been found in Fowler, Pit- 
caun, etc., but not in such quantities as to repay the cost 
of workinsr. 

Garnet is found only in bowlders, and of coarse quality. 

Graphite (carburet of iron) is a common mineral in the 
white limestone, although it has not been observed in quan- 
tities sufiicient for any valuable purpose. Near the Big 
hill, in Rossie, it forms a vein in the old road, and a quarter 
of a mile fiirther east it also occurs. The apatite localities 
all afford scales of graphite. In Canton it - 



Greenstone is common in bowlders, and occurs in dykes 
in limestone in Rossie. The junction of the rock with the 
intruded mass often exhibits evidences of the action of heat. 

Hornblende, either in its proper color and crystalline form, 
or in its 'varieties, as tremolite, asbestus, pargasite, etc., is 
one of our most abundant minerals. In Edwards is an in- 
teresting locality, two miles from the village, on the road to 
South Edwards, on the right bank of the Oswegatchie. The 
color is greenish-black, and it is very common to find the 
peculiar wedge-shaped crystalline form of this mineral in 
the cavities. It also occurs in the town of Rossie, on the 
left bank of the Oswegatchie, a short distance above the 
village of Wegatchie, and in De Kalb, Gouverneur, Pots- 
dam, Piorrepont, etc. 

Houghite. — The term has been applied by Prof Shepard, 
of Amherst College, to a new mineral that occurs on the 
farm of Stephen Ayres, north of Somervllle, associated with 
spinelle, serpentine, dolomite, phlogopite, etc. The quantity 
is abundant at the locality, and it has been found crystallized 
in octahedrons. 

Idocrase, in irregular, fluted prisms, occurs in bowlders, 
and perhaps in rocks in situ, in several localities in Rossie, 
and probably other towns. At Vrooman's lake, near the 
Ox Bow, it has been found in crystals which possess ter- 
minal planes. 

Iron pi/rites (sulphuret of iron) is common, and will 
doubtless at a future time possess much economical import- 
ance for the manufacture of copperas, sulphuric acid, and 
soda ash. Of the former several hundred tons were formerly 
made in the town of Canton, but the works have long since 
been discontinued. Some of the most brilliant specimens 
ever procured were in the lead mines of Rossie, where it 
occurred crystallized in cubes, and possessing a brilliant 
lustre, which was not liable to tarnish. The iron mines of 
Rossie and those adjacent have furnished many interesting 
specimens, and often associated with arsenic, known as arseni- 
cal iron pyrites. For variety of crystalline form, a locality 
on the farm of John Robertson, in the town of Gouverneur, 
is worthy of notice. The mineral here occurs with graphite 
and iron ore, in small crystals, of the form of the cube, octa- 
hedron, dodecahedron, with every intermediate modifica- 
tion. Large octahedrons have been obtained in Gouverneur, 
on the farm of James Morse. The vicinity of the village 
of Hermon has furnished interesting specimens, and the 
mines which have been worked for iron, copper, and lead 
throughout the county contain more or less of this mineral. 

Labradorite (opalescent feldspar) occurs in bowlders, the 
best specimens having been found on the banks of the St. 
Lawrence, in the town of Oswegatchie, three or four miles 
above Ogdensburg. It takes a beautiful polish, and would 
form an elegant gem. The play of colors is vivid, and the 
shades are mostly green and blue. 

loxoclase occurs in Rossie at the celebrated locality of 
zircon and apatite, and this is the only hitherto reported 
locality. It occurs crystallized in the forms usual with 
feldspar, and when broken presents a delicate bluish opal- 

Muscovite, a variety of mica, does not occur tVt situ in 
northern New York, but is found in bowlders. One in 
Gouverneur, containing large plates of a black variety, was 

examined by Prof B. Silliman, Jr., of Yale College, and 
found to have an optical angle of 70° to 70° 30'. 

Pargasite (green hornblende) occurs wherever apatite 
has been found in St. Lawrence County. It usually is crys- 
tallized in hexagonal prisms, sometimes in radiated crystal- 
line fibres, and at others in crystalline grains of ready 
cleavage. The finest locality in St. Lawrence County is 
near the county line, in Rossie, and in a neighborhood 
called New Connecticut. 

Pearl spar (crystallized dolomite) occurs in the town of 
Rossie, on the right bank of the Oswegatchie, opposite the 
furnace at Wegatchie ; it occurs in crevices of limestone, 
and is usually planted in clusters of crystals upon large dog- 
tooth crystals of calcareous spar, and can be obtained in 
considerable quantities. 

Phlogopite occurs in numerous localities, and often in 
great beauty, at the serpentine locality of Gouverneur, near 
Somerville ; at the hornblende locality of Edwards, and at 
other places in that town ; in Pine, two miles from South 
Edwards ; in Russell, De Kalb, Fowler, Hermon, Gouver- 
neur, and Rossie. 

Pyroxene in prisms occurs in Rossie, Gouverneur, Her- 
mon, De Kalb, etc. Near Grasse lake, in the former town, 
a white variety occurs, in which the crystalline form is well 
exhibited. In Gouverneur it occurs in the vicinity of the 
apatite locality. 

Quartz, the most abundant of the simple minerals, occurs 
in many interesting varieties. The mines of crystallized 
specular iron in Gouverneur, Fowler, Edwards, and Her- 
mon all afford splendid crystals. The iron mine near Chub 
lake, in Fowler, afibrded beautiful crystals, nearly transpa- 
rent and quite brilliant. On the farm of Joel Smith, in 
Gouverneur, similar crystals were found. At the apatite 
locality at Gouverneur large smoky crystals have been ob- 
tained, and at that in Rossie similar ones, much resembling 
hyalite. At the iron mines in Rossie delicate groups of 
needle-shaped crystals occur in cavities in the ore. 

Rensselaer ite, of various shades, from white to black, and 
varying from a finely granular to a coarsely crystalline 
structure, occurs in limestone and gneiss in many places in 
the towns of Gouverneur, Rossie, Fowler, Russell, Fine, 
Pitcairn, and Edwards. In Russell and Edwurds it has 
been wrought to some extent into inkstands and other small 
articles, and its softness, toughness, the beautiful gloss 
which it readily receives, and the diversity of color which 
it often presents, indicate it as a suitable material for any of 
the ornamental uses to which alabaster is applied. It can 
be turned in a lathe without diflBculty. The manufacture 
from this material was never carried on as a regular business, 
and has been discontinued for many years. At Wegatchie, 
between 1836-39, about fifty tons were ground and sold for 

lltitile (titanic acid) has been attributed to Gouverneur, 
but its locality has been lost. This mineral is valuable, 
from the use made of it by the manufacturers of artificial 
teeth, to give a yellowish tinge to the enamel. 

Satin spar (fibrous calcite) is of frequent occurrence in 
seams of serpentine and Rensselaerite in Fowler, Rossie, 
and Edwards. At a locality near Silver lake, in Fowler, 
beautiful specimens occur. Between the Oswegatchie and 



Yellow lake, opposite Wegutcliie, in the town of Rossie, is 
a remarkable locality ; it is in vertical seams, while the 
fibres of the spar run across the vein, and fine specimens 
are procurable in quantities. It occurs in narrow seams in 
serpentine, at the Dodge iron mine in Edwards. The 
quantity is small. 

Seapolile, in pearly-gray crystals, occurs at the locality 
of apatite, about a mile southwest of Gouverneur village. 
It is here abundantly diffused through limestone, and is 
readily obtained in separate crystals. 

Serpentine abounds in the town of Rossie, on the island 
at Wegatchie furnace, in Gouverneur village, and at the 
Natural dam, two miles below ; in Fowler, Edwards, De 
Kalb, Hermon, Russell, Pitcairn, Fine, Colton, Canton, etc., 
it occurs in greater or less quantity, but nowhere in suffi- 
cient abundance to form a rock of geological importance. 
On the farm of Stephen Ayres, in Gouverneur, serpentine 
of a yellowish-green color, and beautifully mottled, occurs. 
In Edwards, near the village, it occurs of various delicate 
shades of gi'een and greenish-white, which possess interest. 

Spathic 'iron (carbonate of iron) occurs in the iron 
mines of Rossie, in beautiful crystalline groups, lining 
cavities in the ore. The color is usually bronze, and 
various shades of brown, and usually very brilliant. It 
also occurs massive, diffuse4 through the ore, and has been 
seen more rarely in botryoidal concretions, covering sur- 
faces of red specular iron. Some of the specimens of this 
mineral from the Caledonia and Kearney mines possess 
much beauty, and are highly esteemed by mineral collectors. 

Sphene is of frequent occurrence in the western part of 
St. Lawrence County. In Gouverneur and Rossie it is 
found of a pale red color, and in imperfect ci-ystals. Half 
a mile north of Gouverneur village, in a wall, black crystals, 
with the angles rounded, as if by fusion, occur in quartz. 

Spinelle occurs at the locality of chondrodite, in Rossie, 
and at the locality of serpentine and mica, on the farm of 
Stephen Ayres, in Gouverneur. Spinelle, when blue, is 
the sapphire, and when of a burning red, the ruby. 

Sulphur, in a native state, occurs in concretions around 
the iron mines in Rossie, where it is formed by the decom- 
position of iron pyrites. It is usually more or less mixed 
with sulphate of iron and other saline substances. 

Sulphate of harytes is associated with limestone, in 
Gouverneur, about two miles from the Grifiith bridge. It 
presents externally a rusty-brown color, the surface being 
covered by bundles of coarse crystalline fibres. Broken, it 
presents a pure white color, and is fibrous and laminated. 
On the farm of James Morse, in the same town, this 
mineral occurs with a micaceous variety of iron ore, in 
crystalline plates; and, in the town of Morristown, several 
tons were procured for manufacture into white paint, a few 
years since. In the iron mines of Rossie it has been found 

Svlphuret of copper has been procured in quantities 
which justify the belief that it will be found in such abun- 
dance as will make it profitable as an ore of copper, in the 
towns of Macomb, Gouverneur, Canton, Fowler, Edwards 
Russell, etc. 

Tourmaline, crystallized, is found in the towns of Rossie, 
Gouverneur, Hermon, Russell, etc. The quality of this is 

such that, if it could be obtained of stifficient size, it would 
form the most excellent plates for examining the properties 
of polarized light. It occurs two miles southeast of Gouv- 
erneur village, and also one mile north, on the road leading 
to Somerville. 

Tremolite (white hornblende) occurs in the town of 
Fowler, between Little York and Fullerville, of a delicate 
rose color ; and, in De Kalb, in white crystalline blades and 
tufts, on white limestone, usually appearing in relief where- 
ever the surface has been weathered. In Gouverneur is a 
very interesting locality, on the farm of Stephen Smith. 
A mile from this locality, near the Rock Island bridge, 
and in an open field, beautifully radiated tufts are observed, 
which, when broken, present a silken gloss. No mineral 
can surpass, in beauty of lustre or delicacy of fibre, speci- 
mens from these localities. 

Zircon, much esteemed by mineralogists for its rarity 
and its containing zirconium, one of the rarest of the min- 
eral elements, occurs at the apatite locality in Rossie, in 
square prisms, of a brownish-red color, and sometimes trans- 
parent. It occurs also on the farm of Lorenzo Heath, 
nearer the village than the former, and also on Grasse 
creek, in the same town, associated with apatite. 


Among the more striking of meteorological phenomena 
are tornadoes, of which several have occurred since the 
county was settled. In traversing the forests, the tracks 
of these are often seen in lines of fallen timber, usually 
denominated windfalls. They generally travel eastward, 
and the whirl is in the opposite direction with that in 
which the hands of a watch move. 

August 21, 1823, a tornado passed across the town of 
Constable, sweeping everything before it, but fortunately 
destroying no lives. It entered from Canada, and pursued 
a southeasterly direction until it passed the village of East 
Constable, when it turned eastwards towards Chateaugay, 
and spent its force in the woods. The path was narrow, 
and for the first few miles it appeared to pass in two lines, 
which united. Its progress was slowj and the roar which 
accompanied it warned the inhabitants to seek safety in 
flight. The whirling of the vortex was excessive, carrying 
up and throwing out from its borders planks, rails, branches 
of trees, and whatever lay in its way, and it was said, on 
respectable authority, that a log chain lying on the ground 
was carried ten or fifteen rods from its place. This report, 
so apparently incredible, is scarcely more so than others* 
well authenticated by evidence, in which the turf has been 
torn up and carried ofi' and heavy metallic articles swept 
away by the fury of the tornado. The day on which this 
occurred had been excessively hot and sultry, and the 
blackness, roaring, and violence of the phenomenon were 
said to have been most sublime and terrific. Towards the 
end of its course it ceased to progress, but moved in spiral 
paths through a maple forest, many acres of which were 

Perhaps the most extraordinary tornado ever recorded 
without the tropics occurred in St. Lawrence County, 
Sept. 20, 1845. It was traced from Upper Canada to Ver- 
mont. At 3 o'clock it was at Antwerp ; at 5, on the Saranac ; 



at 6, at Burlington, Vt. ; and at Shoreham, Vt., in the even- 
ing. Its length could not have been less than 200 miles, 
and its course nearly east, till it reached Lake Champlain, 
which it appears to have followed to its head. 

On Saturday, at noon (Sept. 20, 1845), some gentlemen 
standing on the wharf at Cobourg, C. W., happening to cast 
their eyes upon the wa,ter, were struck with the appearance 
of a strong current setting directly out from shore. It 
seemed as if the whole lake were going away bodily. It 
presently returned to a height two feet higher than usual, 
and continued to, ebb and flow at interyals of eight or ten 
minutes till night. At Port Hope the steamer " Princess 
lloyal" could not get into port at all. It was at the time 
supposed to be the effect of an earthquake, and perhaps 
was. The work of destruction began a mile east of Ant- 
werp, and in its course through the forest it swept all 
before it, leaving a track of desolation from half a mile to a 
mile and a half wide, in which nothing was left standing. 
Its appearance was described by those who observed it at a 
little distance as awfully sublime, it being a cloud of pitchy 
blackness from which vivid lightnings and deafening thun- 
der incessantly proceeded, and the air was filled to a great 
height with materials carried up from the earth, and 
branches torn from the trees. Torrents of rain and hail 
fell along the borders of the track, and much damage was 
done by lightning. It entered the county in Fowler, and 
crossed that town and Edwards, when it entered the unin- 
habited forest, and was not further witnessed. In its track 
on the Pitcairn road, and another passing through Emmer- 
son's and Streeter's settlements, some two miles apart, were 
sixteen buildings, — barns, houses, and one school-house, — 
which were swept away, yet, wonderful to tell, no human 
lives were lost on the whole route. In the house of a Mr. 
Leonard were two women and five children, who took refuge 
in the cellar, and escaped harm, except that one was struck 
senseless by a piece of timber. In another house was a 
sick woman with a young child, and a nurse attending 
them. Frightened by the noise, the latter threw herself 
upon a bed, when the house was blown down, and one of 
the logs of which it was built fell across her and held her 
fast. She was relieved by the superhuman exertions of the 
invalid. Near this house a man was driving a yoke of 
oxen attached to a wagon laden with coal. Two trees were 
brought by the wind and laid across the wagon, which 
crushed it, without injury to the team or man. A frame 
school-house in Edwards, in which were several scholars 
and their teacher, was unroofed without injury to its in- 
mates. Immediately following the tornado was a storm of 
hail, some of the stones of which were of great size, which 
severely lacerated such cattle as were exposed to it. At 
Union Falls, in Clinton county, where it emerged from the 
forest, it made a complete wreck of many of the buildings. 
" Duncan's forge was considerably injured, and a brick 
school-house in Peru was utterly demolished. Two houses 
were blown down over the heads of the inmates, and it 
was miraculous that no lives were lost. Some fifteen or 
twenty buildings were destroyed or injured in that vicinity 
by the wind, which committed no further depredations until 
it reached Burlington, Vt., where it unroofed a house and 
blew down some barns." At Shoreham, in the evening. 

was a most majestic display of lightning conceivable. At 
Clintonville, on the Ausable, the lightning struck a church 
edifice. Several other buildings were struck, some of which 
were destroyed by fire. The extent and violence of this 
storm has seldom been paralleled, and had its track crossed 
settled country, the loss of life must have been dreadful. 

The data we possess in regard to our climate is limited 
to the results of but a few years' observations made under 
the direction of the regents of the University at four acade- 
mies subject to their visitation, and to a short period during 
which they have been reported to the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion, by several voluntary observers. We possess reports 
of the Gouverneur Seminary for twelve years, viz. : 1831— 
43; of the Ogdensburg Academy for 1838 ; of the acad- 
emy at Potsdam for twenty-one years, viz- '■ 1828 to 1849, 
inclusive. A similar series of observations have been made 
at sixty-two different stations in the State of New York 
during an aggregate period of about 900 years, and the re- 
sults embody a mass of facts bearing upon the climate of 
the State of great practisal value. In 1850 the system 
first adopted was discontinued, and another, at fewer sta- 
tions, but with better instruments, was substituted. 

The first of the following tables is for Potsdam, and the 
second for Gouverneur, and they show the results of the 
above observations for the respective periods mentioned. 









S(*ptember .. 



Mfvin 43,66 







— 1 









Resultant of 


S.79 22 w. 
S.67 45 w. 
8.79 17 w. 
S.61 34 w. 
3.58 30 w. 
S.54 17 w. 
,".63 45 w. 
S.63 68 w 
B.5S 48 w 
s.67 OS w 

8,85 31 ^: 

■ 98 

Mean results. 

34 130 S.66 16 w. 34 10.29 14.18 15.26 2.38 47.79 

15 52 
14,09 116,01 
9,02 '20,98 
10,48 20,62 




z ^ 

= 2 



January '19.74 

rebruary 18.68 







September .. 



Mean 43. 














S.83 45 V. 
S.71 32 w. 
8.87 64 w. 
n.71 27 w. 
8.73 33 w. 
R.64 30 w. 
8.70 46 w. 
8.79 46 w. 
s.Sl 29 w. 
8.82 48 w, 
n,87 53 w. 
n,76 20 w. 







100 —40 140 S.81 29 w. 39 11.26 15.13 15.31. 2.29 18.99 


14 83 


The mean temperature was derived from three daily obser- 
vations, of which one was taken in the morning before sun- 
rise, another in the warmest part of the afternoon, and the 
third an hour after sunset. The column headed " Hin-liest 
degree"' denotes the greatest temperature observed, and the 
next column the least. The three columns headed " Re- 
sultant of winds" is the product of much labor, and the first 
shows the angle or point from which all the winds have 
blown during the entire period. The column marked ^je;-- 



centage shows the prevalence of the winds in parts of a hun- 
dred, and that marked days, in that of the whole number of 
days in the month. To illustrate this, the month of January, 
at Potsdam, may be taken as an example. The direction 
of the wind in the forenoon and afternoon was entered in 
the journal, and at the end of the month these entries were 
added up. The footings of twenty-one years showed that 
the average number of days of wind from each of the eight 
points were as follows, in days and hundredths: N., 2.15 ; 
N.E., 5.46 ; E., 0.12 ; S.E., 0.59 ; S., 4.35 ; S.W., 9.69 ; W., 
3.48; N.W., 5.16; total, 31.00. The columns showing 
these numbers we have been obliged to omit. Erom these 
numbers it remained to learn their value and mean direction 
(supposing the velocity of the wind to have been uniform), 
precisely as we would ascertain the direction and distance 
of a ship which would have sailed uniformly in the different 
courses for the above times, from the starting point. The 
eight directions were reduced to four by subtracting oppo- 
site points, these reduced to two by a traverse table, and 
lastly these two were brought down to one by a trigonom- 
etrical calculation, and the aid of logarithms. In the in- 
stance cited, if the whole amount of winds or the whole 
time be called 100, then 32 of these, or 9.78 days of the 
31.00, the wind came from a point S. 78° 30' W., while 
during the remainder of the time (68 per cent., or 21.22 
days) the winds from opposite points balanced each other. 
The bearing which this inquiry has upon the questions of 
climate, and especially upon the agricultural and commercial 
interests of the nation, renders it desirable that these obser- 
vations should be extended, and measures are now in prog- 
ress to maintain on an extended scale a minute and judicious 
system of records. The columns headed clear and cloudy 
denote the relative periods during which the sky has been 
clear and overcast, the monthly mean of the rain-gauge in- 
dicates the average depth of rain in the several months, 
and the last column the total depth for the whole period, 
viz., twenty years at Potsdam, and nine at Gouverneur. 
The headings of the several columns render them sufficiently 
intelligible. In that marked " Cloudiness," ten represents a 
sky entirely overcast. In the column next to the last, the 
corrections for expansion of the mercury and other modify- 
ing influences are allowed for, so that the numbers represent 
the actual mean height of the barometer, independent of 
modifying causes. 

The following is an abstract of observations made at 
Ogdensburg by William E. Guest, Esq., during 1851-52. 
Height above tide, 279 feet. 

































To the farmer especially does the study of meteorology com- 
mend itself, for to no pursuit has it so intimate a relation as 
this. It is a well-established fact that changes of weather 
may oflen be predicted several hours before their occurrence 
by the barometer, and thus, especially in the haying and 
harvest seasons, a saving would often bo effected sufficient to 
pay the cost of the instrument. That atmospheric changes 
are due to causes, none will deny. That these are within 
the scope of our investigation is probable, although, from 
the necessity of the case, no amount of probabilities can 
ever establish an infallible prediction. If every season but 
one in a thousand had been remarkably cold, or wet, no 
certainty could be relied upon for the one. The accumula- 
tion of probabilities may, however, be of eminent practical 
service. The system observed in these records enables us 
to form a comparative table of results, of variable value, from 
the unequal time that they were maintained at each.* 

The above remarks, made in 1853, have been substanti- 
ated to a remarkable degree by the system of observations 
put into practical operation within the past few years, in 
connection with the U. S. Army. 


An earthquake occurred in St. Lawrence County, on the 
evening of January 22, 1832, at about half-past eleven 
o'clock. Houses were shaken at Ogdensburg so much as 
to awaken many from sleep, and the tremulous motion of 
stoves, crockery, and windows, with a sound like distant 
thunder beneath the surface of the earth, was distinctly 
perceived by those who had not yet retired to sleep. At 
Lowville the sudden and violent agitation of the earth was 
accompanied by a sound like that of several heavy carriages 
passing rapidly over frozen ground. It was also perceived 
very sensibly at Montreal, where the motion was compared 
to the shaking of a steamboat whose machinery agitates her 
very much. It continued four seconds, and was accompa- 
nied with an indistinct noise. 

Several quite severe shocks of an earthquake were felt 
about two A.M., Sunday, November 4, 1877, perceptible 
over a large part of New England, New York, and the 
Canadas. There were about four distinct shocks within 
the space of one or two minutes, accompanied by a heavy 
rumbling, like that produced by a loaded wagon driven 
over frozen ground, or a cannot-shot rolled along a floor. 
The vibrations wakened people from sound sleep, and in 
many places produced a rattling noise in dwellings, like the 
jar from a steamer's machinery when in motion. 



The Mound-Builders— Mounds and Ancient Remains— Indians- 
Aboriginal Nomenclature. 

EaOM all the evidence obtainable upon the subject of 
a pre-historic race, or one antedating the Indian tribes 
found occupying the American Continent by the earliest 

* Hough. 



European discoverers, little doubt remains'of the existence 
of such a people, who, evidently, in many respects were 
quite superior to the modern red men. They were more 
numerous than their barbarous successors, as the remains 
of extensive fortifications and evidences of important cen- 
tres of population, found more especially in the valleys of 
the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, clearly indicate ; and that 
they were much more advanced in the arts which distin- 
guish an era of civilization is also demonstrated by the 
superior implements of war, of the chase, and of husbandry 
still found in great numbers in many portions of the country. 
Even a casual glance at the fine display of ancient relics 
made at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition would 
inevitably lead one to the belief that the pre-historic race, 
whatever their name or lineage, were a commercial, a war- 
like, a manufacturing, and an agricultural people. By what 
great catastrophe they disappeared from the face of the 
continent — whether destroyed by the red race who suc- 
ceeded them, by earthquake, flood, or pestilence — wc have 
nothing but conjecture for an answer. 

It is not positively certain that they occupied the region 
of northern New York ; but it is at least probable, as 
numerous specimens of a handiwork superior to any known 
among the savages are found scattered over the surface of 
the country, and in mounds or tumuli, which evidently 
date beyond the discoveries of Columbus and contempo- 
raries several centuries. 

Dr. F. B. Hough, in his History of St. Lawrence and 
Franklin Counties, published in 1853, gives a very interests 
ing account of the various mounds, trenches, and ancient 
relics which have from time to time been discovered and 
examined, and, as very little additional has since been 
gathered, we give substantially his account : 

" Nothing is more common than to find along the lands that skirt 
the fertile bottoms which form the shores of the tributaries of the St. 
Lawrence the broken remains of rude pottery, seldom sufficiently 
entire to enable one to determine the original form, and usually im- 
pressed, while in a plastic state, with various fanciful figures, differ- 
ing from each other in fragments of different utensils, but possessing 
a general resemblance. Not unfrequently a rude resemblance to the 
human face is noticed on these fragments. The material of this 
terra-cotta is usually clay and coarse sand, generally well tempered 
and baked. Stone axes, gouges, and chisels, flint arrow-heiid:*, amu- 
lets and beads of steatite, and other personal ornaments, implements 
of bone, apparently used as needles and as tools for marking im- 
pressions upon their pottery, and fragments of bones and broken 
shells, the remains of ancient feasts, indicate in broken and discon- 
nected, but still intelligible language, the pursuits of our predecessors 
upon this soil." 

Gen. R. W. Judson, of Ogdensburg, has a very fine 
collection of relics and curiosities, among which are two 
remarkable stone gouges, 10 J and 11 inches in length, 
found in the town of Norfolk, on lands owned by Charles 
Shepherd. They are of green and steel-gray stone, very 
hard and fine-grained, and are exceedingly well wrought and 
symmetrically proportioned. A curious implement of light- 
colored sandstone, 12J^ inches in length, supposed to have 
been used in preparing hides and skins for tanning, found 
at Yellow lake, in Rossie, by George Lockie, Esq. ^even 
chisels, gouges, etc., dug up at Eel weir, on the Oswegatchie 
river, by Charles W. Hill. A very fine chisel of green 
stone, found on the farm of Geo. N. Seymour, Esq., in 

Lisbon. Another, found on Indian point, in Lisbon, by 
Preston Lawrence, Esq. A very curious one of light-green 
stone, filled with white quartz pebbles, found by Dr. John 
Austin in Ogdensburg. A gouge, chisel, several curious 
amulets and fragments of pottery, together with copper 
spear-heads, stone pipes, etc., found by Simeon Dillingham, 
of Lisbon. Also a fine collection of flint arrow-heads, 
found in the vicinity of Black lake, by Edwin Capron and 
others, and spear-heads and other implements from the 
town of Russell. Some of these implements are fashioned 
with a master-hand, and are as perfect in their forms as 
the best steel implements of modern manufacturers. 

A description of some of the more noteworthy localities, 
where traces of ancient works appear, is herewith given, 
from materials taken mostly from Dr. Hough's work. 

" As a general rule those points were chosen which afforded a 
natural protection upon one or more sides, as the bank of a stream 
or the brow of a hill, leaving defenses to he erected only on the un- 
protected sides. The traces observed usually consisted of a mound 
or bank of earth, surrounded by a ditch of proportionate extent." 

It is probable that the parapet, or embankment, was 
originally palisaded or inclosed within strong pickets, as 
was the case with the towns and fortifications of the Iro- 
quois confederacy in later years. 

"In the town of Macomb are found the traces of three trench in- 
closures, and several places where beds of ashes indicate the site of 
ancient hearths or fire-places. One of these was on the farm of Wm. 
Houghton,* on the hank of Birch creek, and formerly Inclosed the 
premises subsequently used as a mill-yard. It was somewhat in the 
form of a semiciicle, the two ends resting on the creek, and inclosed 
about half an acre. All traces of this work were long since obliterated 
by cultivation, but the line which formed the bank, and the space 
within and without, occasionally afford fragments of potterj', ashes, 
shells, and stone implements, pipes, etc. On an adjoining hill, since 
partly occupied by an orchard, traces of a work once existed, but this 
also has disappeared under the process of cultivation. In a. pond 
adjoining this locality was found, many years since, a human skele- 
ton, said to have been of colossal size. 

"About half a mile northeast of this is the trace of another in- 
closure, on the farms of Wm. P. Houghton and Josiah Sweet, but 
the outlines were so indistinct that they could not be traced with any 
degree of certainty. From what little remains it would appear to 
have consisted of a parapet and ditch, the form of which was nn 
irregular oval, with gateways or draw-bridges at intervals. Its ex- 
tremities rested upon a small stream, in later years the outlet of a 
tamarack swamp. This swamp was formerly occupied by beavers, 
as is indicated by fragments of trees bea.ring the marks of the teeth 
of these animals, which have been dug from several feet below the 

Twenty-five years ago the trench and parapet could easily 
be traced for a distance of about 160 yards, which was ap- 
parently about half its original circuit. Its longest diame- 
ter was from N.N.E. to S.S.W. Numerous fire-beds oc- 
curred within it, and, in one instance, a quantity of ashes 
and charcoal was found five feet below the surface. In a 
field near by are evidences of the existence of a village at 
some remote period. 

On the premises of the St. Lawrence Lead-Mining Com- 
pany, and the farm of Robert Wilson, about three-fourths 
of a mile from the first-described spot, is still another trace, 
which can be easily made out, as the ground has never been 
plowed.* In this instance the work was crescent-shaped, 

» Written in 1853. 


tlie open side being protected by a low ledge of limestone, 
and a branch which led down to a small stream, that may 
have served as a covered way of access to the water. 

On the farm of Henry E. Holbrook, in the northeastern 
part of Potsdam, on or near Mile lot No. 10, was a remark- 
able trench inclosure in early times, but which is now en- 
tirely destroyed except a very small portion in the public 
highway. It is on the road between Norfolk village and 
Raquetteville,* west of the river, and half a mile from the 
railway bridge at the latter place, and is situated upon an 
elevated ridge of drift, at a point which affords a fine view 
of the surrounding country. The form of this work was 
said to have been semicircular, the open side resting on a 
swamp to the west, with gateways occurring at intervals. 
The ditch and parapet inclosed about two acres. When 
the country was settled pine-trees of four feet diameter were 
o-rowing upon the embankment. Underneath their roots 
beds of ashes, mingled with broken pottery, flint arrow- 
heads, etc., have been found. In and around were found 
fire-places, with ashes, charcoal, broken pottery, fresh-water 
shells, bones, etc. On an island in the vicinity graves were 

In the town of Massena, about half a mile west of Rac- 
quette river bridge, and on the western declivity of a slope 
near the summit of a dividing ridge which separates this 
river from Grasse river, in an open field, are plainly to be 
traced the outlines of a work which differs from any above 
described, and is by far the best preserved. Its form is 
irregular, shaped somewhat like an ox-bow, with its open 
side towards the river, and showing numerous openings in 
the parapet, especially on the southern side. The open side 
.was in part protected by a ditch. The summit of the ridge 
at this place commands a delightful prospect, and the vi- 
cinity was no doubt a favorite haunt of the rude people who 
onee made this region their home. Near by, on either side, 
was a river, abounding in fish, and affording many miles 
of navigable waters, with an occasional carrying-place, by 
which they could penetrate into the interior, while a few 
miles away the mighty St. Lawrence, with its bays and 
islands, afforded unequaled facilities for obtaining game and 
fish. If the intervening timber were cleared away, the lo- 
cality in Potsdam, eighteen or twenty miles distant, could 
be seen from this place ; and the two may have been occu- 
pied by parties of the same tribe, who could exchange sig- 
nals, as fires could be easily distinguished from one point 
to the other. Immense trees, growing upon the works last 
described at the date of the earliest settlements, would in- 
dicate a venerable antiquity. Within the inclosure were 
several slight eminences, which may at one period have been 
sufficiently elevated to have overlooked a line of pickets, 
which probably surrounded the work. 

In the town of Massena, not far from this work, there 
was found, several years since, a pipe, formed of whitish 
steatite, or soapstone, having on its bowl and stem, curiously 
wrought, the figure of a serpent, with its head rising a little 
above the level of the bowl. A semicircular parapet and 
ditch formerly existed in the town of Oswegatchie, near its 
western border, on lands formerly owned by Benjamin Pope. 

* Now eoininonly SpelleJ Rackctville. 


Its outline may be traced in the spring by the unusual 
growth of verdure, and similar spots indicate the site of fire- 
places, both within and without. An unusual abundance 
of stone and pottery frag^nents were found here in early 

The shores of Black lake, in Morristown, between the 
village of Hammond and " the Narrows,' contain traces of 
-paintings of an obscure character, including the figure of a 
deer, rudely drawn, and seven figures in two groups, evi- 
dently intended to represent human beings. The block 
upon which the deer was drawn is preserved in the State 
collection at Albany. 

Near the village of Edwardsville, or " the Narrows,' V in 
Morristown, on a hill a little east of that place, the plow 
turned up traces of an ancient village, including a row of 
hearths or fire-places, with burned bones, ashes, charcoal, 
and shells. They were a few inches below the surface, and 
extended for a quarter of a mile. The traces of ancient 
defensive works are found in Canada, in the townships of 
Augusta, Williamsburg, Osnabruck, etc. 


y The region comprised within the present limits of St. 
Lawrence County seems to have been a kind of debatable 
ground between the Iroquois confederacy and the Huron- 
Algonquin nations of Canada; and, from the date of the 
earliest explorations by Champlain to the era of permanent 
settlement by the whites, was never continuously occupied, 
at least for any considerable period, by either. It was 
common hunting and fishing ground, but extremely danger- 
ous to either party, for the nations dwelling upon opposite 
sides of the St. Lawrence were ever at enmity with each 
other, and bloody encounters were sure to follow the meet- 
ings of their hunting-parties. The region was nominally 
claimed by the Oneida nation of the Iroquois confederacy. 
The only Indians who seem to have made a permanent 
home in the county since it was known to Europeans were 
the Oswegatchies, so called, — a collection of families from 
among the Iroquois nations who were converted to Chris- 
tianity by the Jesuits, and induced to withdraw from their 
kindred and settle at La Presentation, now Ogdensburg. 
The commencement of tlie settlement was in 1749, under 
the direction of Father Frangois Picquet, a Sulpician, com- 
monly known as " Abb6 Picquet," of whom a more ex^ 
tended account will be found in another connection. The 
Oswegatchies were eventually (about 1807-8) dispersed 
among the St. Regis, Onondaga, and other Indian^. 


The following interesting article upon the nomenclature 
of the Indians is from Dr. Hough's work : 

"It is scarcely two centuries since the territory now the United 
States was an unbrolten wild, traversed only by the rude native, 
who pursued the bear and the moose, and set his simple snares for 
such wild game as served to feed or clothe him. The advent of the 
European was his misfortune, and step by step he has retreated be- 
fore the march of civilization, leaving nothing but here and there 
his names of rivers and lakes ; and even these, in too many instanceSj 
have been, with a most singular injustice and bad taste, exchanged 
for those of foreign origin, or of no signification of themselves. 

" The sonorous a,nd peculiarly appropriate names of the aborigines 



have often been made the subject of commendation by foreigners, 
and should, in most instances, take the preference of those of modern 

" In some cases this would he difficult, hut in a new and growing 
country like ours, in which new sources of industry are daily being 
developed and new places springing up, might we not, with peculiar 
propriety, adopt the euphonious and often elegant names of the In- 
dians instead of such commonplace appellations as ' Smith's Mills,' 
or ' Hogg's Corners'? — words which convey no association but those 
of the most common and indifferent chal-acter, and which usually 
lose all their application after the first generation. 

*' Let any one compare the splendid names of Saratoga, Niagara, 
and Ontario with Sacket's Harbor, German Flats, or Lake George, 
and he will see the contrast between them, and cannot fail to approve 
the taste that would restore the aboriginar names of places, where it 
may be found practicable. 

'* In making his inquiries into the history of the mission at St. 
Regis, in June, 1852, the author took special pains to obtain not 
only the Indian names of places in the northern part of the State, 
and immediately within the territory embraced in tlie work, but also 
of whatever other localities he might chance to be able, not doubting 
but that the subject would bo regarded as one of general interest. 

** At the Indian village of Caughnawaga, near the Saut St. Louis, 
the author met an intelligent half-breed, A. Geo. De Lorimier, alias 
Oronhiatekha, who is well acquainted with the Mohawk and other 
Indian languages, from whom he also derived some assistance, es- 
pecially relating to distant and well-known localities. The names 
derived from this source will be designated by a f prefixed to the 

"Acknowledgments are especially due to the Rev. F. Marcous. of 
St. Regis, for essential assistance in this and other inquiries. Those 
names received from this source will be thus marked, J. 


"Black River. — (fNi-ka-hi^on-ha-ko-wa) 'big river.' Mr. Squier, 
in a work entitled ' The Aboriginal Monuments of New York,' has 
given the name of this river as Ka-mar-go. His authority is not 

"In u map accompanying L. H. Morgan-'s work, entitled 'The 
League of the Iroquois,* the name given is Ka-bu-a-go, which is a 
Seueca word. 

" Chateaugay. — This by some is supposed to be an Indian name, 
but it is French, meaning, gay castle. The St. Regis call it J 0-sar- 
he-hon, ' a place so close or difficult that the more one tries to extri- 
cate himself the worse he is off.' This probably relates to the narrow 
gorge in the river near th^ village. 

" Chippewa Greek, — In Hammond (jTsi-o-he-Ti-sen). This name 
also applies to Indian Hut island. 

*^ Deer River. — (J Oie-ka-ront-ne)--- 'trout river.' The name also 
applies to the village of Helena, at its mouth. 

'^French Greek. — (J A-ten-ha-ra-kweh-ta-re) 'the place where the 
fence or wall fell down.' The same name applies to the adjoining 

" Gananoqui.^-'Hoi Iroquois, supposed to be Huron, and said to 
mean /wild potatoes,' Apios tuberoaa ( fKah-non-no-kwen), 'a 
meadow rising out of the water.* 

" Grasae River. — (| Ni-kent-si-a-ke) ' full of large fishes,' or ' where 
the fishes live.' In former times this name was peculiarly applica- 
ble. Before dams and saw-mills were erected, salmon and other 
fish not now caught were taken in the greatest abundance, as far up 
as Russell. Its English name was suggested by the grass meadows 
near its mouth. On an old map in the clerk's office it is marked 
Ey-en-saw-ye. The letter y does not occur in the Iroquois language. 

" Indian River. — On Morgan's map (0-je-qack). The St. Regis 
name it by the same appellation as Black lake, which see. 

" Oswegatchie, and the village of Ogdenshurg. — (J Swe-kat-si) gup- 
posed to be a corrupted Huron word, meaning 'black water.' This 
river in early times was sometimes called Black river. 

"Ohio. — (O-hi-on-hi-o) 'handsome river.' The French designa- 
tion of La Belle Riviere was a translation of the original name. 

'" Raqttette River. — A French word, meaning a 'snow-shoe.' It is 
said to have been first so called by a Frenchman named Pariscin, 

^^ Also Oh-ga-ka-ron-tie. 

long before settlements were begun in this quarter, and that the 
name was suggested by the shape of a marsh near its mouth. The 
/rogKoys name, J Ni-ha-na-wa-te, or 'rapid river,' is peculiarly ap- 
plicable. It is said that Col. Louis, the Indian chief, told Benjamin 
Raymond, when surveying, that its Indian name meant 'noisy river,' 
for which reason it has been usually written Racket.'\ 

" As rapids are always noisy, this name would have an application, 
but we shall retain in the map the original orthography. The St. 
IS-avQoia name, as obtained by Prof. Emmons, was Mas-le-a-gui. 
On Morgan's map, above quoted, it is called Ta-na-wa-deh, supposed 
to be a Seneca word, 

" St. Laiorence River. — (J Cat-a-ro-qui) said to be French or Huron. 
Signification unknown. On Morgan's map, Ga-na-wa-ge. 

" Sf: Regie River and Village. — (J Ak-wis-sas-ne) 'where the par- 
tridge drains.* 

"Salmon River. — {% Kent-si-a-ko-wa-no) ' river.' 

" Schoharie. — (J lo-hsko-ha-re) ' a natural bridge,' as that formed 
by timber fl.oating down stream and lodging firmly. 

"f Tioinata. — A small river, tributary to the St. Lawrence, above 
Brockville. Signifies 'beyond the point.' 


" Black Lake. — (X 0-tsi-kwa-ke) ' where the ash-tree grows with 
large knobs for making clubs.' 

" Champlain. — {j" Ro-tsi-ich-ni) ' the coward spii'it.' The Iroquois 
are said to have originally possessed an obscure mythological notion 
of three supreme beings or spirits, the 'good spii'it,' the 'bad spirit, 
and the 'coward spirit.' The latter inhabited an island in Lake 
Champlain, where it died, and from this it derived the name above 

" How far this fable prevailed, or what was its origin, could not be 
ascertained from the person of whom it was received. 

" Grasae Lake. — Rossie (J sa-ken-ta-ke), ' grass lake.* 

" Ontario. — (f 0-non-ta-ri-io) 'handsome lake.' 

" Tapper's Lake. — (JTsit-kan-i-a-ta-res-ko-wa) 'the biggest lake.' 
A small lake below Tupper's lake is called j; Tsi-kan-i-on-wa-res-ko- 
wa, 'long pond.' The name of Tupper's lake, in the dialect of the 
St. Fran(;oia Indians, as obtained by Prof, Emmons, is Pas-kum-ga- 
meh, 'a lake going out from the river,' alluding to the peculiar 
feature which it presents, of the lake lying not in the course of, but 
by the side of, Raquette river, with which it communicates. 

"Yellow Lake. — In Rossie (Kat-sen-e-kwa-o), *a lake covered 
with yellow lilies.' 


" Baruhart'a laland. — (JNi ion-en-hi-a-se-kq-wane) 'big stone.' 
"Baxter's Island. — Upper Long Saut Isle (:{:Tsi-io-wen-o-kwa-ka- 

ra-te), 'high island.' 

" Cornwall laland. — (J Ka-wen-0-ko-wa-nen-ne) ' big island.* 
"Isle «(t Gallop, and the rapid beside it (JTsi-ia-ko-ten-nit-ser- 

ron-ti-e-tha), ' where the canoe must he pushed up stream with 


"Isle au Rapid Plat. — Opposite Waddington (J Tie-hon-wi-ne- 

tha), * where a canoe is towed with a rope.' 
" Lower Long Saut Isle. — (J Ka-ron-kwi.) 
" Sheik' a laland. — {\ 0-was-ne) ' feather island.' 
"St. Regis Island. — Same name with river and village. 

"names of tlaces. 

"Brasher Falls. — (J Ti-0-hi-on-ho-ken) 'where the river divides.' 

"Brasher Iron Tl''oWcfi.-r(J Tsit-ka-res-ton-ni) 'where they make 

" Canada. — (f Ka-na-ta) 'village.' 

"Cayuga. — (f Koi-ok-wen) 'from the water to the shore,' as the 
landing of prisoners. 

"f Cataroqui. — Ancient name of Kingston, 'a bank of clay rising 
out of the waters.' 

" Chateaugay. — (Kan-ah-to-he) 'a pot in the ground,' 

" Hochelaga. — Former name of Montreal, or its vicinity (f 0-ser- 
a-ke), ' beaver dam.' 

"Helena. — The same name as Deer river. 

" Hoganshurg.^ {I TQ-kaa-vfGn-kn-Yo-YQus) 'where they split or 
saw boards.' 

f A'"e-Aa hi~an-a-te, " Rough Rapids." 



" Kentucky. — (f Ken-ta-ke) ' among the meadows.' 
" Malone. — ( J Te-kan-o-ta-ron-we) 'a village crossing a river.' 
" Mmsena Village. — Same name as Grrasse river. 
"Masnena Springs. — ({ Kan-a-swa-stak-e-ras) 'where the mud 
smells bad.' 

" Moira. — (t Sa-ko-ron-ta-keh-tas) ' where small trees are carried 
on the shoulder.' 

"Montreal. — ( J Ti-o-ti-a-ke) 'deep water by the side of shallow.' 
" New York. — (fKa no-no) signification not known. 
" Norfolk Village. — (J Kan-a-tas-e-ke) ' new village.' 
" Lower Falls in Norfolk on Ra(iuette river (Tsit-ri-os-ten-ron-we), 
' natural dam.' 

" The Oxbow, produced by the bend of the Oswegatchie river, 
(JO non-to-hen) 'a hill with the same river on each side.' 

" I'utidam. — (fTe-wa-ten-e-ta-ren-ies) 'a place where 'the gravel 
settles under the feet in dragging up a canoe.' 

" Qiiehiic. — (JTe-kia-tan-tii-ri-kon) ' twin or double mountains.' 
" R'lymondville. — (JTsi-ia-ko-on-tie-ta) 'where they leave the 

'* S'tratoga. — (f Sa-ra-ta-ke) 'a place where the track of the heel 
may be seen,' in allusion to a locality said to be in the neighborhood 
where depressions like footsteps may be seen on the rock. 

" Schenectady. — (JSka-na-ta-ti) ' on the other side of the pines.' 
" Ticonderuga. — (f Tia-on-ta-ro-ken) ' a fork or point between two 

". Toronto. — (-j- Tho-ron-to-hen) ' timber on the water.' 
" Waddington. — (ij; Ka-na-ta-ra-ken) ' wet village.' " 



Eirly Voyages and Discoveries by the French — Early Trading-Posts, 
Missions and Settlements — Isle Oracouehton — Fort Levis — Pou- 
chot — Father Picquet, 

The great valley of the St. Lawrence and the adjacent 
regions was originally discovered and occupied by the 
French. Before the English colonies had penetrated fifty 
miles from the Atlantic coast, the priests of the Franciscan 
and Jesuit orders of the Catholic church, the Couriers des 
Bois, and the fur-traders of " New France'' had carried, 
under the lilies of the Bourbon, the rude arms and heavy 
armor of the 17th century, and the rosary and breviary of 
the " mother church,'' to the western extremity of Lake 
Superior, and by the middle of the century had established 
trading-posts and missions at various points on the St. 
Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, and along the three great upper 
laiies. The indefatigable and self-denying Jesuits even 
preceded the avaricious fur-traders, and as early as 1615 had 
celebrated mass on the misty shores of the Georgian bay, 
which was named by them the "3Ier Douce of the Hurons." 

The earliest vessels and water craft, of European models 
that navigated the noble river St. Lawrence and the 
mighty inland seas of the interior, were constructed by the 
French. The discovery and occupation of all the region in 
North America, lying south of the Bay of Fundy, by the 
English and Spaniards, compelled the French to turn their 
attention towards the Gulf and river St. Lawrence, and 
eventually, by these thoroughfares, into the region of the 
great lakes. 

A rapid glance at the discoveries and settlements of the 
St. Lawrence valley seems necessary in this connection, in 
order to an understanding of the causes which led to the 
occupation by the French of the region now included in 

northern New York, and to their subsequent wars with 
the Iroquois, and, eventually, with the English and their 

The navigators of various European nations had made 
voyages to the coast of North America a long time previous 
to the permanent settlement of the country. The " North- 
men" claimed to have visited the continent in the tenth and 
eleventh centuries, and made settlements, which were, how- 
ever, soon abandoned ; and it is stated by French writers 
that one Cousin, of the city of Dieppe, visited the country 
in 1488. In 1497, John Cabot, a Venetian, in the service 
of Henry VII., of England, discovered the coast of Labra- 
dor, which country he named Prima Vista, or " earliest 
view." Sebastian Cabot, a son of the preceding, made a 
voyage in 1498, adding new discoveries, and one Caspar 
Cortereal is sometimes claimed to have been the first dis- 
coverer of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Norman, Breton, 
and Basque fishermen began their voyages to the New- 
foundland Banks at an early day, some writers say previous 
to the year 1497. There is undoubted evidence that these 
fisheries commenced as early as 1504; and in 1517 as 
many as fifty French, Castilian, and Portuguese vessels 
were employed. In 1506 one Denis, of Honfleur, explored 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and two years later, Aubert, of 
Dieppe, followed ; and in 1518 the Baron de L6ry made an 
attempt to found a settlement on Sable Island. In 1524, 
John Verrazzano, a Florentine, visited the coast of North 
America and explored it from Pamlico Sound to Newfound- 
land. These voyages and those of Columbus, Cabral, and 
others, created an intense interest among the nations of 
Europe, and others followed in rapid succession. 

The next important voyage was con.ducted by Jacques 
Cartier, a citizen of St. Malo, in France, which port he left 
on the 20th of April, 1534. He visited the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence, Newfoundland, and Bay Chaleur, and sailed up 
the St. Lawrence as far as the island of Anticosti, when 
the storms of autumn drove him from the forbidding shores, 
and compelled his return. This voyage, though only par- 
tially successful, induced Francis I., of France, to dispatch 
him upon another, and in May, 1535, he again sailed for 
America in three small ships, which, after encountering se- 
vere storms, finally reached the coast of Newfoundland late 
in July. He soon after explored the gulf, to which he gave 
the name St. Lawrence from having discovered it upon 
the day of the saint's festival. The name subsequently 
attached to the river also. 

Cartier proceeded up the river to a place called Stada- 
cona, on the spot now occupied by the city of Quebec. To 
the modern island of Orleans he gave the name Jsk de 
Bacchus, from the great number of wild vines found upon 
it. During the autumn he ascended and explored the 
great river, called by the savages Hochelaga, to a town of 
the same name on the site now occupied by Montreal. The 
lofty hill in the rear of the modern city Cartier visited, 
and, pleased with the magnificent view from its summit, 
named it Mount Royal, from whence comes the present 
name, Montreal. 

Cartier was the first adventurer to winter in the newly- 
discovered country, which he did by hauling his ships up 
the little river St. Charles, which discharges into the St. 



Lawrence a short distance below Quebec. In the spring of 
1536, with his crews diminished by the ravages of the 
scurvy, Cartier returned to France. In 1541 he made a 
third voyage to the St. Lawrence, under the auspices of 
Jean Frangois de La Roque, Sieur de Roborval, a noble- 
man of Picardy. During this visit he founded a town 
some three and a half leagues above Quebec, which he 
christened Charlesbourg Royale, where he again passed the 
winter. Roberval himself followed in 15-12 with three 
ships and two hundred colonists, and at the place where 
Cartier had commenced his settlement erected shops, mills, 
and dwellings for a permanent colony; but which, like 
others, was in a few years abandoned. 

From this time until 1608 there wns no further attempt 
to plant colonies on the St. Lawrence, though immense 
numbers of fishermen frequented the coasts of Newfound- 
land, and scattered settlements were attempted in what are 
now called New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, then known 
under the general name of Norembega. 


On the 5th of April, 1608, a French vessel, under the 
command of one Pontgravd, a merchant of St. Malo, sailed 
from Honfleur with a cargo of goods for trading with the 
natives, and on the 13th Samuel de Champlain sailed in a 
second vessel with men, arms, and stores for a colony. Both 
these vessels were fitted out by De Monts, a French noble- 
man, who had obtained from the king a monopoly of the 
fur trade. Pontgrav6 reached the St. Lawrence before 
Champlain, and, turning the rocky point at the mouth of 
the Saguenay river, he found a Basque trading vessel an- 
chored in the stream, and quietly pursuing the business of 
fur-trading. Upon Pontgrav6's demand for a withdrawal 
from the exclusive domain of his employer, the Basques 
attacked him furiously, killed and wounded some of his 
men, and took from him his arms and ammunition, prom- 
ising to give them up when ready to return to Europe. 
Such was the state of affairs upon Charaplain's arrival 
with the armed ship on the 3d of June. His appearance 
changed the aspect of affairs, and the freebooters were glad 
to give up everything except their vessel and depart in 
peace. The vessels now proceeded up the river, and during 
the month of June the city of Quebec was founded, being 
the first permanent settlement in Canada, and the third in 
the Atlantic region of North America. 

In 1611, Champlain established a trading post on the 
island of Montreal, and remained nearly a permanent resi- 
dent of New France until his death in 1635. The English 
held Canada for the period between 1629 and 1632, but it 
was considered of so little value that it was restored to 
France in the latter year. 

The earliest Catholic missionaries were introduced by 
Champlain in May, 1615, consisting of four friars of the 
Recoll6t order of the Franciscans, — Denis Jamet, Jean Dol- 
beau, Joseph Le Caron, and Pacific du Plessis. As early 
as 1609, Champlain had entered into an alliance, oifensive 
and defensive, with the Algonquins of Canada, and the 
same year accompanied a war-party on an expedition up 
Lake Champlain into the country of the Iroquois; and in 
the encounter which occurred near Lake George in July of 

that year thoughtlessly laid the foundation of a never- 
ceasing war with this powerful people, and thus entailed 
upon the French colonies in America a century and a half 
of horrors seldom equaled in the history of the world. 


In 162.5-26 this powerful order first made their ap- 
pearance in Canada under the patronage of the viceroy, 
the Due de Ventadour, who was wholly controlled by it, 
and assisted by every means in his power its establishment 
in the colonies. The first three representatives of the " So- 
ciety of Jesus" to arrive in Canada were Charles Lalemant, 
Enemond Masse, and Jean de Brebeuf The Jesuits soon 
after entirely supplanted the Franciscans, and from hence- 
forth controlled the spiritual affairs of the colony. They 
established missions on all the principal streams and on the 
borders of the great' lakes, and labored, with a zeal perhaps 
unexampled in the history of the world, for the conversion 
of the savages to Christianity, exposing themselves unhesi- 
tatingly to danger and to death, and suffering untold tor- 
tures at the hands of the vengeful Iroquois. 

Prom the days of Champlain to the close of the war of 
1755-60, there was a constant endeavor by the governments 
of England and France to gain the monopoly of the fur 
trade of the continent, and to this end unceasing efforts 
were made by both parties to draw the various Indian na- 
tions under their respective influence. With all the tribes 
dwelling north of the St. Lawrence and around the lakes 
the French were eminently successful, but the powerful 
Iroquois confederacy, which held the balance of power 
and overawed all the other nations, they could never gain 
over either by bribes or forces. These haughty people 
affected to despise both the French and English, and de- 
clared themselves independent and masters of the continent. 
In 1673 the French, under the lead of Count Frontenac, 
then governor-general of Canada, erected Fort Cadaraqui,* 
on the ground now occupied by the city of Kingston, 
Ontario. In 1675, Robert Ctivelier de la Salle received a 
large grant of land at this point from the King, and was 
invested with the seignory of Fort Cadaraqui, which in the 
two following years he rebuilt substantially with stone, and 
named, in honor of the governor-general. Fort Frontenac, 
which name it continued to bear until it fell under the 
jurisdiction of England. 

The following account of Frontenao's voyage up the St. 
Lawrence on his way to Cadaraqui, in 1673, is a translation 
from the Paris documents in the oflSoe of Secretary of State, 
by Dr. E. B. O'Callahan, editor of the " Documentary 
History of Now York,'' and published in Dr. Hough's 
History of St. Lawrence County : 

"The object of this journey was to prerent the ratification of a 
treaty between Indian tribes, which he conceived would operate in- 
juriously to the interests of the French. He proposed to effect this 
by the establishment of a military post on Lake Ontario, and this 
was the first beginning made at what is now the city of Kingston, 
0. W. He could thus prevent intercourse between the south and the 
north, and monopolize the fur trade of the Indians. He was still 
further induced to this from the representations of the Jesuit mis- 

»The orthography of this word is wonderful, — Kadarockqua, 
Caterocouy, Cataracuoi, Cataraqui, Cadaraqui, Cadarackquai, Coeda- 
roqua, Caudaroghque, etc. 



sionaries, who had for some time lahored among the Iroquois, and 
were over anxious that a station should he made in the country of 
the Indians, as well to promote their religion, as their commercial 

"To impress the natives with a hclicf that cascades and rapids 
■were no harrier against the French, Count de Frontenao resolved to 
take with him two flat hateaux, similar to that M. de Courcelles had 
two years previous carried to the head of the rapids, and even to 
mount them with small cannon, to inspiie the savages with awe. 
With these two boats, built after a particular model, holding sixteen 
men, and painted unlike anything seen before, and with about one 
hundred and twenty bark canoes, he at length left Montreal on the 
28th of June, having made all necessary arrangements for the govern- 
ment of the colony in his absence. On the M of July they had 
reached the islands at the head of Lake St. Francis, where they re- 
paired their bateaux, which had been injured in the passing of rapids. 
We will C[uote the words of the journal: 


" ' On the 4th the route passed through the most delightful country 
in the world. The entire river was spangled with islands, on which 
were only oaks and hard wood; the soil is admirable, and the banks 
of the mainland on the north and south shores are equally handsome, 
the timber being very clean and lofty, forming a forest equal to the 
most beautiful in France. Both banks of the river are lined with 
prairies, full of excellent grass, interspersed with an infinity of beau- 
tiful flowers; so that it may be asseitcd, there would not be a more 
lovely country in the world than that from Lake St. Francis to the 
head of the rapids, were it cleared. 

"'Made three leagues up to noon, and halted at a spot more de- 
lightful than any we had yet seen. It was close to the little chan- 
nel which stretches along the sault on the north side, and opposite 
the mouth of a river by which people go to the Mohawk.'^=" Sieur Le 
Moine was sent to examine that which goes to the Mohawks, and re- 
ported that it formed a large, circular, deep, and pleasant basin be- 
hind the point where we had halted, and that the IroquoU whom he 
had found there had informed him that there was five days' easy 
navigation in that river, and three when the waters were lower. 
After having dined and rested awhile the march was resumed, and it 
was resolved to take the south channel, with the design to camp 
above the Long Saut, and cross over to that side at three-quarters of 
a league above it, but the rain which supervened obliged Count de 
Frontenac to cause the entire fleet to come to anchor on the north 
side, at the place where we intended to traverse, and he had time 
only to get the bateaux to do this, and to encamp himself with the 
Three Kivers' brigade and his st.aff on the south shore, opposite the 
place where the other sections had anchored. We found in the west- 
ern forest, in the camp, a white flower, as beautiful as can be seen, 
with an odor similar to that of the lily of the valley, but much finer.f 
It was sketched through curiosity. 

" ' The oth, the rain threatening, we'contented ourselves in dispatch- 
ing the bateaux at the break of day to get them past the rapids of the 
Long Saut, and the order was sent to the fleet at the north side not 
to traverse until the weather was settled. 

" ' Therefore, it having cleared about ten o'clock, the fleet traversed 
and advanced to the foot of the first rapid of the Long Saut, but one 
half having passed, a storm sprang up, which obliged the Count to 
go by land as far as the rapid, to hasten on those who were in the 
middle, and to prevent the last going farther on; so that four only 
were able to pass, and these camped half a league above. He sent 
the others into a cove, after he had remained more than two hours 
under the rain, without a cloak, very uneasy about the bateaux, 
which experienced much difficulty in ascending the rapid ; one of them 
had run adrift in the current, had not the people behind thrown 
themselves into the stream with incredible promptness and bravery. 

'"It is impossible to conceive without witnessing the fatigue of 
those who dragged the bateaux. They were for the most part of the 
time in the water up to the arm-pits, walking on rock so sharp that 
many had their feet and legs covered with blood, yet their gayety 
never failed, and they made such a point of honor of taking these ba- 
teaux up, that as soon as they arrived in the camp some among them 
commenced jumping, playing "prison bars" {joucr ana- harree), and 
other games ot like nature. The night of the 5th and 6th inst. was 
so wet that the Count could not sleep ; so afraid was he of the biscuit 
getting wet, that he ordered Sieur de Chambly not to allow the canoes 
to start until he saw settled weather, and to push on the bateaux with 
experienced hands in them, as they did not carry any provisions ca- 
pable of spoiling. He waited till noon to set out, the weather having 
cleared up with appearances of no more rain; but a league had not 
been traveled, nor the bateaux overtaken, before a tempest burst so 
furiously that all thought that the provisions would be wet. With 
care, however, very little harm happened, and, after halting about 
three hours, we proceeded un, with some five or six canoes, to find out 
a place to camp, to give time to the people in the canoes to follow 
them, with all the troops; and though there were three or four very 
ugly rajjids to be passed, they did not fail to surmount all these diflicul- 
ties, and to arrive before sundown at the head of the Long Saut, where 

^' Kaquette river ? 

t Mymphiea odorata? 

Count de Frontenao had traced out the camp, opposite a little island, 
at the end of which the northern channel unites with that on the south. 

" ' The 7th, started the canoes (bateaux ?) very early, with orders 
to cross from the north side at the place where they should find the 
river narrower and less rapid; and he left with all the canoes two 
hours after, and proceeded until eleven o'clock, in better order than 
during the preceding days, because the navigation was easier. We 
stopped three or four hours about a quarter of a league from the rapid 
called the li'apide Plat.% 

" * The weather appeared the finest in the world. This induced us 
to determine on passing the rapid, which is very difficult, on account 
of the trees on the water side tumbling into the river, which obliged 
the canoes to take outside, and so go into the strongest of the current. 
He detached six canoes in consequence, which he sent along to take 
axes to cut all the trees that might obstruct the passage of the 
bateaux, and took with him the Three Rivers' brigade and his staff 
to lay out the camp, having left two brigades with the bateaux, and 
others for a rear-guard. But on landing, at five o'clock in the after- 
noon, there came a storm, accompanied by thunder and lightning, 
more furious than all the others that preceded it, so that it was neces- 
sary to dispatch orders in all haste to the bateaux and to all the fleet 
to oast anchor wherever they happened to be, which it was very diffi- 
cult to effect, in consequence of some of the bateaux being in the 
midst of the rapid. The rain lasted nearly the whole night, during 
which the Count was extremely uneasy lest precautions may not have 
been taken to prevent the provisions getting wet. Next morning, at 
break of day, sent for intelligence, and news was brought, about seven 
o'clock in the morning, that there was not much harm done, through 
the care every one took to preserve his provisions, and the bateaux 
arrived a quarter of an hour afterwards at the camp. As every one 
had suffered considerably from the fatigue of the night, it was re- 
solved not to leave the camp before ten or eleven o'clock, in order to 
collect all the people and give them time to rest. 

"'The weather was so unsettled that, through fear of rain, they 
waited until noon, and though a pretty strong southwest wind arose, 
and the river was very rough, we failed not to make considerable 
headway, and to camp at the foot of the last rapid. 

" ' The 9th, we had proceeded scarcely an hour when the Montreal 
brigade, dispatched by Count Frontenac from our third encampment, 
by Sieur Lieutenant de la Valtrie, under the direction of Sieur Morel, 
ensign, to make a second convoy, and carry provisions beyond the 
rapids, was found in a place which he had been ordered to occupy as 
a depot. As soon as our fleet was perceived,. he crossed over from the 
south to the north and came on board the " Admiral." 

" ' The Count wrote by him to M. Perrot, Governor of Montreal, to 
whom he sent orders to have new canoes furnished to Lieutenant 
Lebert, to join this fleet, and endeavor to bring in one voyage what 
he had at first resolved to have brought in two. In two hours after- 
wards we arrived at the place Sieur de la Valtrie had selected to 
build a store-house. It was a point at the head of all the rapids, and 
at the entrance of the smooth navigation. | 

" ' The Count strongly approved Sieur de la Valtrie's selection, and 
resolved to sojourn there the whole day, to allow the troops to refresh, 
and to have leisure to send a second canoe to Montreal with new 
orders and to hasten the return of the canoes, which were sent to 
bring provisions. At six o'clock in the evening two Iroquois canoes 
arrived, bringing letters from Sieur de la Salle, who, having been 
sent into their country two months before, advised the count that, 
after some difficulty, which was founded on the apprehensions the 
savages entertained of his approach, they had, in fine, resolved to 
come to assure him of their obedience, and that they awaited him at 
Kent6,|| to the number of more than two hundred of the most ancient 
and influential, though they had considerable objection to repair 
thither, in consequence of the jealousy they felt on seeing Onontio 
going to KentS, as it implied a preference for that nation to the 
others. This obliged him to request the Abbgs de Fdnolon^ and 
D'LfrfJ to go in all haste to KentS, which it had been resolved to 
visit, having judged by the map, after considerable consultation and 
different opinions, that it would be a very suitable place on which to 
erect the proposed establishment. 

"'Though Count de Frontenao had appointed this interview with 
the savages only with that view, he did not omit, however, taking 
advantage of the jealousy they entertained in their minds, and re- 

X This rapid is on the north side of Ogden's island, at the present 
village of Waddington, at Madrid. The island was known to the 
early French voyageurs as the Islo au Rapide Plat, or island at the 
flat rapid. The river hero is underlaid by a limestone formation of 
very uniform surface, and has a descent of eleven feet in three miles. 

I Probably Indian Point, in Lisbon, a short distance above Gallop 

II Present orthography, Quinti. 

If Ffinelon, the Archbishop of Camhray, and author of the celc- 
brated allegorical romance entitled Les Adventures de TeUmaque, was 
from 1667 till 1674 a missionary of the Sulpieian order among the 
Iroquois, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Ho was born Aug. 0, 
1661 ; early engaged with zeal in ecclesiastical studies; became emi- 
nent as a missionary, author, and preceptor to the Duke of Bur- 
gundy, the heir-apparent to the throne of Franco ; was raised to the 
archbishopric of Cambray in 1697, and died in 1715. 


quested those gentlemen to assure them that ho expected them \a 
that place only to let them know that he did not pret'or the one to the 
other, and that he should be always their common father so long as 
they remained in the obedience and respect they owed the king. 

"'The 10th, left the camp about five o'clock in the morning j and 
though Count de Frontonac had determined on the preceding day, 
and before he received the news of the approach of the Imqitoia, to 
leave the bateaux with the greater portion of the troops behind, and 
to take with him only two or three brigades, to reconnoitre as quickly 
as possible the outlet of the G-reat Lake, and the post he was about 
to fortify at the mouth of the Katarakoui, he changed his design, 
and concluded ho ought to proceed with more precaution until he 
should be better informed of the intention of the Iroquois. 

'"We therefore proceeded in a body, and in closer column than 
heretofore. The weather was so serene, and the navigation so 
smooth, that we made more than ten leagues, and went to camp at a 
cove about a league and a half from Otondiata, where the eol-flshery 
begins. AVe had the pleasure on the march to catch a small loon, a 
bird about as large as a European bustard (Oularde), of the most 
beautiful plumage, but so difiicult to catch alive, as it plunges con- 
stantly under water, that it is no small rarity to be able to take one. 
A cage was made for it, and orders were given to endeavor to raise 
it, in order to be able to send it to the king. 

"' The 11th, the weather continuing fine, a good day's journey was 
made, having passed all that vast group of islands with which the 
river is spangled, and camped at a point above the river called by 
the Indians Onuondrtkoui,^' up which many of them go hunting. It 
has a very considerable channel. Two more loons were caught alive, 
and a scanoutou, which is a kind of deer, but the head and branches 
of which are handsomer than that of the deer of France.' 

" The narrative continues with an account of the stately and regal 
manner with which the Count do Frontenac entered the lake, and the 
interviews which he had with the natives. The pomp and ceremony 
with which he received the deputation of the savages, the glittering 
armor and polished steel which flashed and gleamed in the sun, the 
waving banners gayest colors that floated in the gentle breeze, and, 
above all, the roar of caution and the destructive efl"ect of shot, be- 
wildered the minis of the simple-hen,rted natives, and impressed 
them with awe and astonishment. The Count then related to them 
in glowing colors the grandeur and importance of the king, his 
master, whose humble servant he 'was, and thus conveyed a vague 
but overwhelming impression of the omnipotence of the French. 

"From this time forward the St. Lawrence was frequently trav- 
ersed by French voyagers, and a post was established at La Galeae 
(meaning in the French language a cake or nnij/in), which is sup- 
posed to be near the site of Johnstown, in Canada, a short distance 
below Prescott, or on Chimney island." 

In 1682 Count Frontenac was recalled, and Le Fobvre 
de la Barre succeeded hiin as governor-general of Canada. 
The new governor managed to make himself somewhat un- 
popular, and attempted a castigation of the Iroquois in the 
summer of 1684, when he assembled a large force of French, 
Canadians, and Indians at Frontenac. At the same time 
he was industriously endeavoring to cultivate peace with 
the savages through the mediation of Le Moyne, a vet- 
eran pioneer of Montreal, and Father Jean de Lamberville, 
a Jesuit who had long resided among the Indians as a 
missionary. In endeavoring to play a double game his 
calculations came to naught, for the savages were sharp 
enough to understand all his manoeuvres, and to meet him 
at every point, whether of diplomacy or war, and foil him 
effectually. While encamped at Frontenac, his army suf- 
fered terribly for want of provisions and from sickness, of 
which the wily Indians were well advised, and when, through 
the efforts of Le Moyne and the Jesuit, a council was finally 
arranged and assembled on the eastern shore of Lake On- 
tario, on September 3, the famous Onondaga orator, Garan- 
ffula, in a remarkable speech, boldly exposed the designs of 
the French governor, outwitted him at every point, and 
sent him, chagrined and discomfited, back to Montreal, 

whence he was soon after recalled by the king, and the 

» " — 

* Gannonoqui? from the -ff«ron, Ougli-aeanoto, a deer. — Dr. O'Cal- 


Marquis de Denonville appointed in his place. This ex- 
pedition of La Barre's, on its way up the river, made La 
Galettef one of its stopping-places. 

In the spring of 1687, Denonville assembled a powerful 
force at Frontenac, consisting of French regular troops, 
Canadian militia, and a great number of Indians. The 
army crossed Lake Ontario and rendezvoused at Irondequoit 
bay, where it was joined by several hundred traders. Courier 
des Bois, and upper lake Indians. The country of the 
Seneca nation, or Canton, was invaded and laid waste, but, 
in the main, very little was accomplished ; and, in 1689, 
in return for this visit, fifteen hundred Iroquois made an 
incursion into Canada, and laid waste the island of Mont- 
real, killing and capturing a large number of the inhabi- 
tants, and returning, with very little loss, triumphantly to 
their own country^. 

In the autumn of 1689, Denonville was recalled, and 
Count Frontenac was again installed as governor-general 
of Canada. Upon his arrival, he found the country in the 
greatest state of alarm, and all the upper lake Indians upon 
the point of going over in a body to the enemy, as the best 
■ means of saving themselves from total destruction, for they 
had become nearly convinced that the French could not 
protect them from the dreaded Iroquois. By a series of 
well-directed operations against the English frontiers, and 
a firm and vigorous policy towards the Indians, Frontenac 
succeeded in staying the tide that had so nearly over- 
whelmed the French colonies in disaster and ruin, and 
once more resumed the mastery over the western tribes 
which only terminated with the final subjugation of the 
French in 1760. 

The following extract is from Dr. Hough's work : 

" In 1720-21, Father Charlevoix, a Jesuit, undertook, by command 
of the King of France, a journey to Canada. His observations, in an 
epistolary form, addressed to the Duchess de Lesdiguieres, were pub- 
lished at Paris in 1744; from the fifth volume of which we translate 
the following extracts from a letter dated ' Catarocoui, 14th May, 


"'Above the Buisson the river is a mile wide, and lands on both 
sides are very good and well wooded. They begin to clear those 
which arc on the north side, and it would be very easy to make a 
road from the point which is over against the Island of Montreal to a 
bay which they call La Calettc. They will shun by this forty leagues 
of navigation, which the falls render almost impracticable and very 
tedious. A fort would be much better situated and more necessary at 
La Calotte than at Catarocoui, because a single canoe cannot pass 
here without being seen, whereas at Catarocoui they may slip behind 
the islands without being observed. Moreover, the lands about Ga- 
lette are very good, and they might in consequence have always pro- 
visions in plenty, which would save many charges. Besides this, a 
bark might go in two days with a good wind to Niagara. One of the 
objects which they had in view in building the fort Catarocoui was 
the trade with the Iroquois j but these savages would come as will- 
ingly to La Galette as to Catarocoui. They would have indeed some- 
thing farther to go, but they would avoid a passage of eight or nine 
leagues which they must make over the Lake Ontario. In short, a 
fort at La Galette would cover the whole country which is between the 
great river of the Outaouais and the river St. Lawrencej for they 
cannot come into this country on the side of the river St. Lawrence 
because of the falls, and nothing is more easy than to guard the 
banks of the river of the Outaouais. I have tljese remarks from a 
commissary of the marine (M. de Clerambaut d'Aigrcmont), who was 
sent by the King to visit all the distant posts of Canada. . . . From 
Coteau du Lac to Lake St. Francois is l)ut a good half league. This 
lake, which I passed on the fifth, is seven leagues long and three at 
the widest pla.oo. The land on both sides is low, but appears to be 
good. The course from Montreal to this is a little to the southwest, 
and the lake St. Franfois runs west-southwest and east-northeast. I 
encamped just above it, and in the night was aroused by piercing 
cries as of persons in distress. I was at first alarmed, but soon re- 

f A short distance below Ogdcnsburg, on the Canada side. 



covered myself when they told me they "were hnars, a kind of cormo- 
rants.'-'- They added that these cries prognosticated winds on the 
morrow, which proved true. 

" ' The sixth 1 passed the Chesuaux du Lac, thus called from some 
channels which form a great number of islands which almost cover 
the river in this place. I never saw a country more charming, and 
the lands appear good. The rest of the day was speot in passing the 
rapids, the principal one of which they call Le Moulinet (The YortexJ : 
it is frightful to behold, and we had much trouble in passing it. T 
went, however, that day seven leagues and encamped at the foot of 
the Long Saut, which is a rapid half a lea.gue long, which canoes 
cannot ascend with more than half a load. We passed it at seven in 
the morning, and sailed at three o'clock p.m. ; but the rain obliged 
us to encamp, and detained us the following day. There fell on the 
eighth [May] a little snow, and at night it froze as it does iu Prance 
in the month of January. We were nevertheless under the same 
parallels as Languedoc. On the ninth wo passed the Rapide Plat 
[opposite the village of Waddington], distant from the Saut about 
seven leagues and five from Des (laloti^, which is the last of the 
rapids. La Galette is a league and a hiilf farther, and we arrived 
there on the tenlh. I could not sufficiently admire the beauty of the 
country between this bay and Les Galots, It is impossible to see 
finer forests, and I especially notice some oaks of extraordinary 

" ' Five or six leagues from La Galette is an island called Tonihata,"!" 
where the soil appears fertile, and which is about half a league long. 
An Iroquois, whom they call the Quaker, I know not why, a very 
sensible man and very affectionate to the French, obtained the do- 
minion of it from the late Count de Frontenac, and shows his patent of 
concession to whoever wishes to see it. He has nevertheless sold the 
lordship for four pots of brandy, but has reserved to himself all other 
profits of the land, and has assembled here eighteen or twenty fami- 
lies of his nation. I arrived on the twelfth at his island and paid 
him, a visit. I found him laboring in his garden, which is not the. 
custom of savages ; but he affects all the customs of the French. He 
received me very kindly, and wished to regale me, but the beauty of 
the weather invited me to prosecute my journey. I took my leave of 
him, and went to pass the night two leagues from thence in a very 
fine place. 

*' * r had still thirteen leagues to Catarocoui : the weather was fine 
and the night very clear, which induced me to embark at three o'clock 
.in the morning. We passed through the midst of a kind of archi- 
pelago, which they call Mille/des [Thousand Isles]. I believe there 
are about five hundred. When wc had passed these, we had a league 
and a half lo reach Catarocoui, The river is more open, and at least 
half a league wide: then we leave upon the right three great bays, very 
deep, and the fort is built in the third. This fort is square, with 
four bastions built with stone ; and the ground it occupies is a quarter 
of a league in circuit, and its situation has really something very 
delightful. The banks of the river present in every way a varied 
scenery, and it is the same at the entrance of Lake Ontario, which is 
but a short league distant: it is studded with islands of different 
sizes, all well wooded, and nothing bounds the horizon on that side. 
This lake for some time bore the name of Saint Louis, afterwards 
that of Frontenac, as well as the fort of Catarocoui, of which the 
Count -de Frontenac was the founder; but insensibly the lake has 
gained its ancient name, which is Huron or Iroquois, and the fort 
that of the place where it is built. The soil from this place to La 
Galette appears rather barren ; but it is only on the edges, it being 
very good farther back. Opposite the fort is a very fine island in 
the midst of the river. They placed some swine upon it, which have 
multiplied and given it the name of hie des Porca [Hog island, now 
Grand island]. There are two other islands somewhat smaller, which 
are lower and half a league apart : one is named Vhle aux Gedres, and 
the other Vide aux Cerfs [Cedar island and Stag island, neither of 
which names are now retained]. 

" ' The bay of Catarocoui is double ; that is to say, that almost, in 
the midst of it is a point which runs out a great way, under which 
there is good anchorage for large barks. M. de la Salle, so famous 
for his discoveries and his misfortunes, who was lord of Catarocoui 
and governor of the fort, had two or three vessel.s here which were 
sunk in this place, and remain there still. Behind the fort is a marsh, 
where a great variety of wild game gives pleasant occupation for the 

" * There was formerly a great trade here, especially with the Iro- 
quois; and it was to entice them to us, as well as to hinder their car- 
rying their skins to the English and to keep these savages in awe, 
that the fort was built. But this trade did not last long, and the 
fort has not hindered the barbarians from doing us a •'reat deal of 
mischief. They have still some families here on the outskirts of the 
place; and also some Miesisnguez, an Alffonqnin nation, which still 
have a village on the west side of Lake Ontario, another at Niagara, 
and a third at Detroit.' 

"An English writer (JeffcrsJ has written a book, entitled, 'The 
French Dominion in America' (London, 1760, folio), in which he 
has freely quoted without acknowledgment, from Charlevoix and 
other French writers, statements of facts and descriptions of places 
of which he evidently had no knowledge beyond what he derived 
from these works. 

* Probably loons. 

t Indian Jlut island. 

"The following is an extract from this writer (p. 15), which may 
be compared with the translation from Charlevoix which we have 
given : 

*" A fourth rift, two leagues and a half hence, is called therift of St. 
Francis, from whence to Lake St. Francis you have only half a league. 
This lake is several leagues in length, and almost three in breadth 
where broadest. The land on both sides is low, but appears to be of 
an excellent soil. The route from Montreal hither lies a little towards 
the southwest, and the Lake St. Francis runs west-southwest and 

" ' From hence you come to the Ckeanenux du Lac, for thus are CEtlled 
those channels formed by a cluster of islands, which take up almost 
the whole breadth of the river at this place. The soil seems here 
extraordinarily good, and never was prospect move charming than 
that of the country about it. The most remarkable falls here are 
that of the Moulinet, which is even frightful to behold,;]: and exceeding 
difficult to get through, and that called the Long Fall, half a league 
in length, and passable only to canoes half loaded. 

" 'The next you come to is called the Flat Rift [Bapide du Plat, 
opposite Ogden's island and the village of Waddington], about seven 
leagues above the Long Fall, and five below that called Les Galots, 
which is the last of the falls. La Galette lies a league farther, and 
no one can be weary of admiring the extraordinary beauty of the 
country, and of the noble forests which overspread all the lands about 
this bay and La Galette, particularly the vast woods of oak of a 
prodigious height. A fort would perhaps be better situated and much 
more necessary at La Galette than at Cadarnqui, for this reason, that 
not so much as a single canoe could pass without being seen ; whereas, 
at Cadaraqui they may easily sail behind the isles without being per- 
ceived at all. The lands moreover about La Galette are excellent, 
whence there would always be plenty of provisions, which would be no 
small saving. 

'*' And, besides, a vessel could very well go from La Galette to 
Niagara in two days, with a fair wind. One motive for building the 
fort at Cadaraqui was the convonieney of trading with the Iroquois, 
But those Indians would as willingly go to La Galette as to the other 
place. Their way, indeed, would be much longer, but then it would 
save them a traverse of eight or nine leagues on Lake Ontario; not 
to mention that a fort i.t La Galette would secure all the country 
lying between the great river of the Outawais and the river St. Law- 
rence ; for this country is inaccessible on the side of the river, on 
account of the rifts, and nothing is more jiracticable than to defend 
the banks of the great river; at least, these are the sentiments of 
those sent by the court of France to visit all the different posts of 

" * One league and a half from La Galette, on the opposite shore, 
at the mouth of the Oswegatchi river, the French have lately built 
the fort La Presentation, which commands that river, and keeps open 
a communication, by land, between-Lake Champlain and this place. 
*' ' Four leagues above La Presentation is the isle called Tonihata, 
about half a league in length, and of a very good soil. An Iroquois, 
called by the French writers, for what reason we are not told, the 
Quaker, a man of good natural sense, and much attached to the 
French nation, had, as they say, got the dominion of this island of 
Count of Frontenac, the patent of which, it seems, he was proud of 
showing to anybody. 

" * He sold his lordship for a gallon of brandy, reserving, however, 
the profits to himself, and taking care to settle eighteen or twenty 
families of his own nation upon this island. 

" ' It is ten leagues hence to Cadaraqui, and on your way to this 
place you pass through a sort of archipel, called the Thousand Islep, 
and there may possibly be about five hundred. From hence to Ca- 
daraqui they reckon four leagues. 

" ' The river here is freer and opener, and the breadth half a league. 
On the right arc three deep bays, in the third of which stands Fort 
Cadaraqui or Frontenac* 

"From the earliest period of their settlement the French appear 
to have been solicitous to withdraw the Iroquois from the interests of 
the English, and to establish them near their own borders, as well to 
secure their religious as their political adherence to their interests. 
To effect their conversion. Father Ragueneau was sent to Onondaga, 
in 1657-58; Isaac Jogues to the Moliawlca (among whom he had been 
a captive previously), in 1646; Frs. Jos. Lemercicr to Onondaga, in 
1656-58; Frs. Duperon to Onondaga, in 1657-58 ; Simon Le Moyne to 
Onondaga, in 1654-, and subsequently to the Mohawks and Sciiecas; 
and many others, but none with more success than Jacques de Lain- 
berville, who was among the Mohaioks in 1657-58, subsequently at 
Onondaga, which place he left in 1686, and again, in 1703 to 1709, 
he was engaged most zcalgusly in his work of proselyting to his faith 
the Indians of New York. 

*' The result of the labors of these missionaries was the emigration 
of a part of the Mohawk tribe, iu 1675-76, to the Saut St. Louis; in 
the vicinity of Montreal. Some account of this emigration is given 

X This is probably what is known at present as the Lost Channel, 
on the north side of Long Saut island. It has within a year or two 
been descended by steamers and found safe, although the war of 
waters is frightful. 



by Charlevoix, which will here be given as a spccimeu of the zealous 
devotion and religious strain in which the Catholic writers of that 
period were accustomed to speak and write, rather than for its im- 
portance as a historical document. 

"The success of their enterprise was proportioned to the zeal and 
energy with which it was prosecuted. The room in which Charle- 
voix dwelt while at this mission of the Saut St. Louis is still pointed 
out to visitors, and the table on which he wrote forms a part of the 
furniture of the priest's house at that mission. 

"Prom 'Charlevoix's Journals of Travels in North America,' vol- 
ume v. page 258, and subsequently. Letter to the Duchess de Les- 
diguiercs : 

"'Saut St. Lours, May 1, 1721. 
" * Madame, — I have come to this place to spend a part of Easter. 
It is a period of devotion, and everything in this village is suggest- 
ive of pious emotions. All the religious exercises are performed in a 
very edifying manner, and leave an impression of fervor on the minds 
of the habitants; for it is certain that it has long been the case in 
Canada that we may witness the brightest examples of heroic virtue 
with which God has been wont to adorn the growing church. The 
manner itself in which it has been formed is very marvelous. 

" ' The missionaries, after having for a long time moistened the 
cantons of the Iroquoin with their sweat, and some even with their 
blood, lostj at length, all hope of establishing there the Christian re- 
ligion upon a solid basis, but not of drawing a great number of sav- 
ages under the yoke of the faith. They felt that God had among these 
barbarians his elect, as in all nations, but they were convinced that 
to nsnure their calling and their election it was necessary to separate 
them from their compatriots, and they formed the resolution of estab- 
lishing in the colony all those whom they found disposed to embrace 
Christianity. Thoy opened their design to the governor-general and 
the intendant, who carried their views still further, not only ap- 
proving them, but conceiving that this establishment would be very 
serviceable to New France, as in fact it has been, as well as another, 
much like it, which had been established in the isle of Montreal, 
under the name of La Montague, of which the members of the semi- 
nary of St. Sulpice have always had the direction. 

" ' To return to that which served as a model for the others : One of 
the missionaries of the Iroquoia opened his design to some of the 
Mohawka. They approved it, and especinlly that Canton which had 
always most strongly opposed the ministers of the gospel, and where 
they had often been most cruelly treated. Thus, to the great wonder 
of French and savages, were seen these inveterate enemies of God, 
and of our nation, touched with his victorious grace, which thus 
deigned to triumph in the hardest and most rebellious hearts, aban- 
doning all that they held most dear in the world to receive nothing, 
that they may serve the Lord with more freedom. A sacrifice more 
heroic still for savages than other people, because none arc more at- 
tached than they to their families and their natal land. The number 
was much augmented in a short time; in part, from the zeal of the 
first proselytes who composed this chosen band.' 

" This measure led to much persecution, and the converts were 
often tortured to compel them to renounce the faith. Others were 
confined in miserable dungeons in New York, from which they could 
be liberated only by abjuring their new religion, or^ at least, by 
promising to leave the French. M, de Saint Valier thus wrote in 
168S: * The ordinary life of all the Christians at this mission has 
nothing usual, and one would take the whole village to be a monas- 
tery. As they only left the goods of their country to seek safety, 
they practice on all sides the most perfect disengagement, and pre- 
serve among each other so perfect order for their sanctifieation, that 
it would be difficult to add anything to it.' 

" These savages, of course, carried with them their language and 
customs, but the latter gradually became adapted to those of the 
French, who labored to abolish those national ceremonies, and sub- 
stitute in their place an observance of the ritual and requirements 
of the Catholic religion. This measure succeeded so well that, at 
the present day, the oldest Indians at the missions have lost all 
recollection of the existence of their ancient customs, and do not 
preserve the memory of national ceremonies of the olden time." 


The emigration to Canada from among the Indians con- 
tinued through many years, and at length, in 1749, led to 
the establishment of a missionary station and fort at the 
mouth of the river La Presentation (Oswegatohie), by 
Francis Picquet, a Sulpician. 

The following account of the early settlement of Ogdens- 
burg is from the " Documentary History of New York," 

vol. i. page 277, and is a translation from the Paris docu- 
ments in the State library at Albany : 

" A large number of Iroquois savages having declared their willing- 
ness to embrace Christianity, it has been proposed to establish a 
mission in the neighborhood of Fort Frontenac. Abb6 Picquet, a. 
zealous missionary in whom the nations have evinced much confi- 
dence, has taken charge of it, and of testing, as much as possible, 
what reliance is to bo placed on the dispositions of the Indians.'^' 

" Nevertheless, as M. de la Gallisonni&re had remarked, in the 
month of October, 1748, that too much dependence ought not to be 
placed on them, M. de la JonquiSre was written to on the 4th of May, 
1749, that he should neglect nothing for the formation of this estab- 
lishment, because, if it at all succeeded, it would not be difiieult to give 
the Indians to understand that the only means they had to relieve 
themselves of the pretensions of the English to their lands was the 
destruction of Chouegucn, which they founded solely with a view to 
bridle these nations; but it was necessary to be prudent and circum- 
spect to induce the savages to undertake it. 

"21st 8ber, 1749. — M. do la Jonquiere sends a plan drawn by 
Sieur de L6ry of the ground selected by the Abbe Picquet for his 
mission, and a letter from that abbe, containing a relation of his 
voyage and the situation of the place. 

"He says he left the 4th of May of last year, with twenty-five 
Frenchmen and four //'oiyxois Indians; he arrived the 30th at the 
River de la Presentation, called Soegatzy.f The land there is the 
finest in Canada. There is oak timber in abundance, and trees of 
a prodigious size and height, but it will be necessary, for the de- 
fense of the settlement, to fell them without permission. Picquet 
reserved sufficient on the land he had cleared to build a barque. 

" He then set about building a store-house to secure his efTects ; he 
next had erected a small fort of pickets, and he will have a small 
bouse constructed which will serve as a bastion.:|; 

"Sieur Picquet had a. special interview with the Indians; they 
were satisfied with all he had done, and assured him they were will- 
ing to follow his advice, and to immediately establish their village. 
To accomplish this, they are gone to regulate their affairs, and have 
promised to return with their provisions. 

"The situation of this post is very advantageous; it is on the 
borders of the River de la Presentation, at the head of all the rapids, 
on the west side of a beautiful basin formed by that river, capable of 
easily holding forty or fifty barques. 

" In all parts of it there has been found at least two fathoms and 
a half of water, and often four fathoms. This basin is so located 
that no wind scarcely can prevent its being entered. The bank is 
very low, in a level country, the point of which runs far out. The 
passage across is hardly a quarter of a league, and all the canoes 
going up or down cannot pass elsewhere. A fort on this point 
would be impregnable; it would be impossible to approach, and 
nothing commands it. The east side is more elevated, and runs, by 
a gradual inclination, into an amphitheatre. A beautiful town could 
hereafter be built here. 

" This post is, moreover, so much the more advantageous, as the 
English and Iroquois can easily descend to Montreal by the River de 
la Presentation, which has its source in a lake bordering on the Mo- 
hawks and Corlar. If they take possession of this river, they will 

■* The following extract from Paris Document X. furnishes the 
date of the Abbe Picquet's departure to establish his colony on the 
Oswegatchie river: " 30th Sept., 1748. — The Abb6 Picquet departs 
from Quebec for Fort Frontenac; he is to look in the neighborhood 
of that fort for a location best adapted for a village for the Iroquois 
of the Five Nations, who propose to embrace Christianity." 

f This name is variously spelled, Soegatzy, Souegatzy, Swegatchie, 
Chougatchie, Seogasti, Swegage, Suegatzi, Swegassie, Oswegatchie, 

J A tablet of sandstone was placed in the wall of the mission-house 
erected by Father Picquet, bearing the following inscription: 
In nomine "j" Dei omnipoteutis 
Huic hahitationi initia dedit 
Frans. Picquet 1749. 

Translated, this reads as follows : "Francis Picquet laid the foun- 
dations of this habitation, in the name of the Almighty God, in 1749." 

In 1831, this tablet was found among the ruins by Amos Bacon, 
and inserted over the door of the State Arsenal. 



block the passage to Fort Frontenac, and more easily assist Clioue- 
guen. Whereas, by means of a fort at the point, it would be easy to 
have a force there in case of need to dispatch to Choueguen, and to 
intercept the English and Indians who may want to penetrate into 
the colony, and the voyage to Missilimakinac could be made in 

"Moreover, this establishment is only thirty-five leagues from 
Montreal, twenty-five from Fort Frontenac, and thirty-three from 
Choueguen,® — a distance sufBoient to remove the Indians from the 
disorders which the proximity of forts and towns ordinarily engen- 
ders among them. It is convenient for the reception of the Lake 
Ontario and more distant Indians. 

"Abbe Picquet's views are to accustom these Indi.ins to raise 
cows, hogs, and poultry j there are beautiful prairies, acorns, and 
wild oats. 

" On the other hand, it can be so regulated that the bateaux carry- 
ing goods to the posts may stop at La Presentation. The cost of 
freight would become smaller ; men could be found to convey those 
bateaux at fifteen to twenty livres instead of forty-five and fifty 
livres, which are given for the whole voyage. Other bateaux of La 
Presentation would convey them farther on, and the first would take 
in return plank, boards, and other timber, abundant there. This 
timber would not come to more than twelve or fifteen livres, whilst 
they are purchased at sixty-eight livres at Montreal, and sometimes 
more. Eventually this post will be able to supply Fort Frontenac 
with provisions, which will save the king considerable expense. 

"TheAbb6 Picquet adds in his letter that he examined in his 
voyage the nature of the rapids of the Fort Frontenac river, verj' 
important to secure to us the possession of Lake Ontario, on which 
the English have an eye. The most dangerous of those ra|)ids, in 
number fourteen, arc the Trou (the Hole), and the Buisson (the 
Thicket). Abb6 Picquet points out a mode of rendering this river 
navigable ; and, to meet the expenses, he proposes a tax of ten livres 
on each canoe sent up, and nn ecu (fifty cents) on each of the crew, 
which, according to him, will produce three thousand livres, a sum 
sutficient for the workmen. 

"Messrs. de la Jonquiere and Bigot remark that they find this 
establishment necessary, as well as the erection of a saw-mill, as it 
will diminish the expense in the purchase of timber ; but, as regards 
the rapids, they will verify them in order to ascertain if, in fact, the 
river can be rendered navigable, and they will send an estimate of 
the works. 

" They have caused five cannon of two-pound calibre to be sent to 
the Abbe Picquet for his little fort, so as to give confidence to his 
Indians and to persuade them that they will be in security there. 

" M. de la Jonquiere in particular says he will see if the proprietors 
of bateaux would eontribnte towards the expense necessary to be in- 
curred for the rapids; but he asks that convicts from the galleys or 
people out of work {gens inutiles) be sent every year to him to culti- 
vate the ground. He is in want of men, and the few he has exact 
high wages. 

"1st 8ber, 1749. — M. Bigot also sends a special memoir of the 
expense incurred by Abbd Picquet for improvements (defrichemcns), 
amounting to three thousand four hundred and eighty-five livres ten 
sous.f Provisions were also furnished him for himself and workmen 
and this settlement is only commenced. M. de la Jonquiere cannot 
dispense with sending an oflioer there and some soldiers. Sieur de la 
Morandiere, engineer, is to be sent there this winter to draw out » 
plan of quarters for these soldiers and a store for provisions. If 
there be not a garrison at that post a considerable foreign trade will 
be carried on there. 

"7th 9ber, 1749.— Since all these letters M. de la Jonquiere has 
written another, in which he states that M. de Longueil informed him 
that a band of savages, believed to be Mohatolu, had attacked Sieur 
Picquet's mission on the 26th of October last; that Sieur de Vassau, 
commandant of Fort Frontenac, had sent a detachment thither, which 
could not prevent the burning of two vessels, loaded with hay, and 
the palisades of the fort. Abb6 Picquet's house alone was saved. 

" The loss by fire is considerable. It would have been greater were 

«- Ogdensbnrg is 105 miles from Montreal, 60 from Kingston, Can. 
and about 90 from Oswego. The distances laid down in the text are 
very accurate, considering the time and the circumstances.— Dr. 

t Equal to $653.23. 

it not for four Abenakis, who furnished on this occasion a proof of 
their fidelity. The man named Perdreaux had half the hand carried 
away. His arm had to be cut off. One of the Abenakis received the 
discharge of a gun, the ball of which remained in his blanket. 

"M. de Longueil has provided everything necessary. M. de la 
Jonquiere gave him orders to have a detachment of ten soldiers sent 
there, and he will take measures next spring to secure that post. M. 
de la JonquiSro adds that the savages were instigated to this attack 
by the English. The Iroquois, who were on a complimentary visit 
at Montreal, were surprised at it, and assured M. de Longueil that 
it could only be Colonel Amson [Johnson ?] who could have induced 
them. He omitted nothing to persuade those same Iroquois to under- 
take this expedition and to prevent them going to compliment the 
governor, having offered them belts, which they refused." 

Father Picquet, having fortified his po.sition in the year 
1751, commenced the erection of a saw-mill for the use of 
his settlement and the government. 

In a document entitled, " Titles and Documents relating 
to the Seignorial Tenure," made to the Legislative Assembly 
of Canada in 1851, and published at Quebec in 1852, is a 
copy of the French grant to him. It is taken from pages 
299 and 300, and runs as follows : 

"Le Marquis de la Josqui£re, Etc. 
" FRAN901S Bigot, Etc. 

'' On the representation made to us by Monsieur l'Abb6 Piquet, 
priest, missionary of the Indians of La Presentation, that in virtue 
of the permission which we gave him last year he is building a saw- 
mill on the river called La Presentation or Souegatzy, with the view 
of contributing to the establishment of that new mission; but that 
for the usefulness of the said mill, it is necessary that there should 
be attached thereto a tract of land in the neighborhood on which to 
receive the saw-logs, as well as the boards and other lumber: where- 
fore he prays that we would grant him a concession en ceusive of one 
arpent:J; and a half in front on the said river, — that is to say, three- 
fourths of an arpent on each side of the said mill, by one arpcnt and 
a half in depth, having regard to the promises. 

" We, in virtue of the power jointly intrusted to us by His Majesty, 
have given, granted, and conceded, and by these presents do give, 
grant, and concede unto the Abb6 Piquet the said extent of land of 
one arpent and a half in front, by the same depth, as herein above 
described : to have and to hold the said unto him and his assigns in 
full property forever, on condition that the said tract of land, and the 
mill erected thereon, cannot be sold or given to any person holding in 
mortmain (gens de main morte), in which ease His Majesty shall ve- 
eater plena jure into the possession of the said tract of land and mill; 
also, on condition of the yearly payment of five sola of rente and six 
deniers of cens, payable to His Majesty's domain, on the festival-day 
of St. Kemy, the first of October each year, the first payment of 
which shall be due on the 1st October of next year, 1752 ; the said 
cens bearing profit of lods et venles, saisbie et amende, agreeably to 
the custom of Paris followed in this country ; and that he shall have 
these presents confirmed within one year. 

" In testimony whereof, etc. 

"At Quebec, the 10th of October, 1751. 

" Signed La JonqdiSre, and 
" True Copy. Bigot." Bigot. 

In a letter to Governor Clinton, dated Aug. 18, 1750, 
Col. Johnson makes mention of this post in the following 
terms : 

"The next thing of conseqence he (an Indian sachem) told me was 
that ho had heard from several Indians that the Governor had given 
orders to the Priest, who is now settled below Cadaraqui, to use all 
means possible to induce the five Nations to settle there, for which 
end they have a large magazine of all kinds of clothing fitted for the 
Indians, as also Arms, Ammunition, Provisions, &c., which they dis- 
tribute very liberally." 

X An arpent is a hundred porches of land, eighteen feet to the 
perch, or about three-quarters of an acre. This is an old French 
land measure. 



The same to the board of health, Aug. 28, 1756 : 

" The OiiundaguK and Oneidas arc in tho neighborhood of Swe- 
gatchie, a French settlement on the river St. Lawrence, whither num- 
bers of those two Nations have of late years been dchauclied and 
gone to live. Though our Indians do not now resort to those places 
as frequently and familiarly as they formerly did, yet some among 
them do occasionally visit there, ivhen tho French, and tho Indians in 
their interest, poison the minds of ours with stories, not only to tho 
disadvantage of our good intentions towards them, but endeavor to 
frighten them with pompous accounts of the superior prowess and 
martial abilities of the French." 

The attempt of the French to establish a mission at Os- 
wegatehie naturally excited the jealousies of the English, 
whose relations with their Canadian neighbors were every 
day tending to open hostilities. The industry of the French 
in founding establishments among the Indian tribes at this 
period suflSciently evinces the anxiety they felt to secure 
the interest and influence of the savages to the prejudice of 
the English colonies. Tho following communication from 
Lieut. Lindesay to Col. Johnson relates to the station at 
Swegagc, or La Presentation, shortly before founded : 

" Oswr.GO, ISIh July, 1751. 

" This day came here from' Niagra the Bunt and the Black Prince's 
son, with their fighters. He first gave me an account how it had 
fared with them: told me he found two forts built by the French 
since he went out; one at Nigra, carrying place, and the other by 
John Cair on the river Ohieo. He said he heard a bird sing that a 
great many Indians from his castle, and others from the five nations, 
were going to Swegage : all this, he said, grived him, and he saw 
things going very wrong ; and if a stop was not put to it. the five 
nations wou'd be ruined soon. He said he was come home, for he 
lookt on this place as such : that he was both hungry and poor; and 
hoped, as I represented the Governor and Coll. Johnson here, I would 
assist him in a little provisions and clothing to his fighters. I told 
him was sorrey for the loss he had sustained, but was glad to find 
his thoughts and mine the same as to the French's building forts, and 
the Indians going to Swegage; and told him how wrong it was in 
our Indjans going to Cannada, and the consequencess that would at- 
tend it, in the best light I could. He agreed with me in all I said, 
and promised to do everything in his power to have things better 
managed, and likewise promised in the strongest terms to all Coll. 
Johnson would desire of him. I gave him provisions and cloathing, 
&c. for his people, to the value of five pounds above what he gave 
me when he spoke, which was three bevers. 

" 27th. This day came the Couse, and some other Sinaka sacham, 
in order to go to Cannada. He came to see me, and told me he was 
sent by the consent of the five nations to go to the Govn. of Cannada 
about the building the above said two forts, Ac. I told him the con- 
sequence of Indjans going there; but as he is intirely French, all I 
said was to no purpose, though he seeni'd to own the force of what I 
said, as all the other Indjans did, and I belive all but him might 
have been stopt ; but as things are, I could do no more. 

"By all the Indjans that have been here, I find the French army 
landed at Nigra about the 26th July, in 20 large canoes, to tho num- 
ber of 250 or 300 French, with 200 Arondaks and Annogongcrs; they 
are to gather all the Indians as they pase, and allso French, and will 
at least amount to 1000 or 1200 French and Indjans. Their designs 
is to drive the English of that are at or near Ohieo, and oblidge the 
Meomies to come and live whore they shall order them. All the Ind- 
jans who have been here, say they and all Indians are to join them. 
While the Bunt was here, I had him always with me, and did all lay 
in my powar to oblidge him. He showed the greatist sence of it, and 
said he would allways do what I asked, as he allways had done. He 
is much inclined to us; and am convinced that if Coll. Johnson sends 
for him, he will come and take our affairs in hand hertily; and I 
think he hath it more in his powar then any to bring things to rights, 
nor is it to be done without him. This is my sentiments, and I hope 
you will pardon my liberty in giveing them. If you approve of what 
I have said, and desire me to bring him down with me. He do my 

indeavours, and he never yet hath refused what^ I asked of him. 
There are some French here, who mett the army about hundred miles 
to the west of Nigra. John Lindesay. 

" To the Honourable Coll. Wm. Johhson."* 

On June 19, 1754, there assembled at Albany the cele- 
brated Congress of Representatives from the several Eng- 
lish colonies to agree upon a. plan of union for the common 
defense against the encroachments of the French and the 
hostilities of the Indians, who were incited by them to 
make inroads upon the back settlements of the English. 
Among the commissioners from the several colonies ap- 
peared those who afterwards shone with distinguished repu- 
tation in the Revolutionary War, and none more so than 
Benjamin Franklin. 

The measure which was the great object of this con- 
gress ultimately failed, from its strong republican tendency, 
which alarmed the minions of royalty then in power; but 
several points of interest were discussed, which have a 
direct relation with our subject. In the representation of 
the affairs of the colonies, which was agreed upon, were 
the following statements : 

" That the Lake Champlain, formerly called Lake Iroquois, and 
the country southward of it as far as the Dutch or English settle- 
ments, the Lakes Ontario, Erie, and all the countries adjacent, have, 
by all ancient authors, French and English, been allowed to belong 
to the Five Cantons or Nations; and the whole of these countries, 
long before the treaty of Utrecht, were by said nations put under the 
protection of the Crown of Great Britain. . . . 

" That they [the French] arc continually drawing off" the Indians 
from the British interest, and have lately persuaded one-half of the 
Onondaga tribe, with many from the other nations along with them, 
to remove to a place called Oswegatchie, on the river Cadaraqui, 
where they have built them a church and fort; and many of the 
Senecas, the most numerous nation, appear wavering, and rather 
inclined to the French ; and it is a melancholy consideration that 
not more than one hundred and fifty men of all the several nations 
have attended this treaty, although they had notice that all the 
governments would be here by their commissioners, and that a large 
present would be given."")" 

Hendrick, the Mohawle\ chief, warrior, and orator, and 
ever the firm friend of the English, endeavored to dissuade 
the confederates of New York from joining the settlement 
at Oswegatchie ; and at a conference of the Indian tribes 
with Sir William Johnson, held at Mount Johnson, Sept. 
24, 1753, he thus addressed them in a speech replete with 
native eloquence and rhetorical ornament : 

" It grieves me sorely to find the road hither so grown up with 
weeds for want of being used, and your fire almost expiring at Onon- 
daga, where it was agreed by the wisdom of our ancestors that it 
should never be extinguished. You know it was a saying among 
them that when the fire was out here you would be no longer a 

" I am now sent by your brother, the governor, to clear the road, 
and make up the fire with such wood as will never burn out; and I 
earnestly desire you will take care to keep it up, so as to be found 
always the same when he shall send among you. — A belt. 

" I have now renewed the fire, swept and cleared all your rooms 
with a new white wing, and leave it hanging near the fire-place, that 
you may use it for cleaning all dust, dirt, etc., which may have been 
brought in by strangers, no friends to you or us. — A string of wam- 

« See Doc. Hist. New York, vol. ii. p. 623. 

f A full account of the proceedings of this congress will be found 
in the 2d vol. Doc. Hist, of New York, pp. 645-517. 
{ Killed in battle near Lake George in 1755. 



"I am sorry to find, on my arriyal among you, that the fine shady 
tree which was planted hy your forefathers for your ease and shelter 
should be now leaning, being almost blown down by northerly winds. 
I shall now endeavor to set it upright, that it may fiourish as for- 
merly, while its roots spread abroad, so that when we sit or stand on 
them, you will feel them shake : should any storm blow, then should 
you be ready to secure it. — A belt. 

" Tour fire now burns clearly at the old place. The tree of shelter 
and protection is set up and flourishes. I must now insist upon your 
quenching that fire made with brambles at Swegachey, and recall those 
to their proper home who have deserted thither. I cannot leave dis- 
suading you from going to Canada ; the French are a delusive people, 
always endeavoring to divide you as much as they can, nor will they 
let slip any opportunity of making advantage of it. 'Tis formi- 
dable news we hear that the French are making a descent upon the 
Ohio: 'Is it with your consent or leave that they proceed in this 
extraordinary manner, endeavoring by force of arms to dispossess 
your own native allies, as well as your own brethren, the English, 
and establishing themselves?' . . — A largo belt." 

At a general meeting of the Six Nations, held at Onon- 
daga, they replied to the foregoing speech and that of the 
governor, through their speaker. Red Head, as follows : 

" We acknowledge with equal concern with you that the road 
between us has been obstructed and almost grown up with weeds ; 
that our fire is scattered and almost extinct. Wo return you our 
most hearty thanks for recruiting the fire with such wood as will 
burn clear and not go out; and we promise that we shall, with the 
utmost care, dress and keep it up, as we are sensible from what has 
been said by our forefathers, that the neglect of it would be our ruin. 
—A belt. 

" We know very well the use of the white wing you recommended, 
and are determined to use it to sweep out whatever may hinder the 
fire from burning with a pure flame. — A string. 

''You may depend upon our care in defending the tree which you 
have replanted from the inclemency of the high winds from Canada. 
Weare full of acknowledgments for your care and admonitions, and 
be assured we shall watch every threatening cloud from thence, that 
wo may be ready to prop it up. — A belt. 

"We rejoice that we see the fire barn pure where it should doj the 
tree of shelter look strong and fiourishing. And you may depend 
upon our quenching that false fire at Swegachey, and doing all we 
can to recall our brothers, too often seduced that way. Tho' wc did 
not conceive we had done so much amiss in going thither, when we 
observe that you white people pray, and we had no nearer place to 
,learn to pray, and have our children baptized than that. However, 
as you insist upon it, we will not go that way nor be any more 
divided. I must now say it is not with our consent that the French 
have committed any hostilities in Ohio. We know what you Chris- 
tians, English and French together, intend. We are so hemmed in 
by both that we have hardly a hunting-place left. In a little while, 
if we find a bear in a tree, there will immediately appear an owner 
of the land to challenge the property and hinder us from killing it, 
which is our livelihood. We are so perple.-ied between both that we 
hardly know what to say or think." — A belt. 

The sentiment expressed at the close of this last address 
is so true and so melancholy, that it cannot fail to excite our 
sympathy at the fate of the unfortunate race of which, and 
by which, it was spoken. The unlettered savages, in the 
simplicity of artless nature, and prompted by a sentiment 
of benevolence which has been but illy requited, admitted 
the European settlers to their lands, and proffered the hand 
of friendship. When once established, the whites, finding 
themselves superior to their rude neighbors in the arts of 
trade, failed not in most instances to avail themselves of this 
advantage, and overreach them in traffic, corrupt their 
morals, and impart to them the vices without the benefits 
of civilization. 

Under these influences, the presage of the orator just 
quoted has been soon and sadly realized, and the red man 
has retreated before the march of that civilization which he 

could not adopt, and those habits of industry which are at 
variance with his nature. Like the wild-flower that flour- 
ishes only in the shade, and withers in the sun as soon as 
its primitive thicket is gone, the race has vanished, leaving 
the homes and the graves of their ancestors for the wild- 
ness of the western forests, whence in a few years they must 
ao'ain retreat, until the last of the race has disappeared. 

In an account of a military expedition consisting of a 
French regiment under De Bearre, which ascended the St. 
Lawrence in 1755, for the purpose of promoting the mili- 
tary operations which the French were carrying on at that 
time along the great lakes and western rivers, we find the 
following description of the works at La Presentation :* 

" On the 28th [of July, 1755] ascended the two Galois rapids which 
are dangerous, doubled the Point 4 Livrogne, and crossed from the 
north to the south, to encamp under Fort Presentation, which is six 
(?) leagues from the end of the rapids. This fort consists of four bat- 
tlements, in the form of bastions, of which the curtains are palisades. 
It is sufficient to resist s,avagcs, but could be but poorly defended 
against troops who might attack it, and who could easily succeed. 
On the 29th, doubled two points, notwithstanding the wind blew 
with violence against us, and encamped upon Point aux Barils, at 
three leagues. On the 30th, passed the Thousand Islands, the river 
Toniata, and camped on an island very poorly adapted for the pur- 
pose, opposite a small strait a distance of seven leagues. On the 31st, 
crossed two large bays. Met in the former two canoes coming from 
Detroit, the conductors of whom said that the English had been 
defeated on the Ohio." 

The Abbe Picquet joined this expedition, with thirty- 
eight of his warriors, on the 12th of September, who de- 
sired to accompany the expedition to make prisoners at 
Choueguen. He left on the 16th, and rejoined at the Isle 
of Tonti. 

On the 25th his savages brought in two prisoners, having 
slain three who resisted them. These prisoners informed 
them that the fort at Oswego had been largely reinforced. 
Picquet left on the 26th to take his savages and his prisoners 
to Montreal to M. de Vaudreuil. 

At the attack upon Port George, which resulted in its 
capitulation, under Lieutenant-Colonel Munro, Aug. 9, 
1757, a company of Iroquois warriors were present, under 
the command of De Longueil Sabervois. The Abb6 Picquet, 
Sulpician missionary, is also enumerated as among the 
French force. 

In " Pouchot's Memoirs,'' page 38, the writer, in speaking 
of a reinforcement of troops for Fort Frontenac, says the 
commander was instructed in case the fort was in the pos- 
session of the English (which was feared) to occupy and 
fortify some point at or near La Presentation. This was in 

An embassy of the Five Nations held an interview with 
M. de Montcalm, April 24, 1757, to which measure they 
were inclined from the successes of the French in the last 
campaign, which resulted in the capture of Oswego. This 
council was addressed by orators from each of the Indian 
tribes, but a passage occurs in the original account of this 
councilf which is important, as showing the standing of 
the Oswegatchies among their Indian neighbors at that 
period ; 

" There were also in attendance the Iroquoia of La Presentation, 

* See Paris Documents, vol. x. p. 213. 
f Paris Documents, vol. xiii. p. 124. 



who were present at all the deliberations, but spoke not separately 
and in their own name. The reason was that they had been domi- 
ciled bi^t a short time; they regarded themselTes still as the 'fag 
ends' \naUe\ of the Iroquois, who call the village of La Presentation 
the tail of the Five Nations." 

In a note to this in the original, this mission is men- 
tioned as having been founded by the zeal of the Abb6 
Picquet, a Sulpician, and as equally important for religion 
as for the state. 

In July, 1758, M. du Plessis was ordered to take post at 
La Presentation with 1800 men, and cover the frontier. 
Subsequently this officer proceeded to Frontenac. It would 
appear from the French accounts that Sieur the Chevalier 
Benoit, a Parisian, was left at La Presentation with a small 
force. In October, 1758, Du Plessis was ordered by the 
governor-general, M. de Vaudreuil, to return, and the Che- 
valier Benoit was oi-dered to proceed to Frontenac, from 
La Presentation, and take command. 

At this time the colonies were in a bad condition. 
The country was almost destitute of provisions, and the 
Canadian soldiers, who served without pay, were becoming 
discontented, and even threatened to revolt. At this time 
M. de Vaudreuil had determined to construct a number of 
vessels to aid in the defense of the river and Lake Ontario, 
and Sieur de Cresse, assistant ship-master of Canada, and 
M. La Force had been sent to Frontenac to take charge of 
the work. Toronto, which was held by Sieur Donville, 
had been evacuated and the garrison transported to Niag- 
ara, where in July following they were surrendered by M. 
Pouchot, then in command, to Sir William Johnson. As 
the officers in charge of the ship-building operations could 
not find the necessary timber iu the vicinity of Frontenac, 
they proceeded to Point au Baril, situated three French 
leagues above La Presentation, on the north bank of the 
river, near the site of the present village of Maitland. 
The Sieur de Lorimer had been left in command of La 
Presentation upon the departure of M. Benoit, but bitter 
complaints were preferred against him, and M. de Vaudreuil 
removed him and replaced M. Benoit in command of this 
point and adjacent ones, including Point au Baril. Fron- 
tenac was abandoned, and all its guns, munitions, and stores 
taken to Point au Baril and the new fortification on Oraco- 
nenton island. A strong work was thrown up at Point au 
Baril ; but, upon the approach of the English army under 
General Amherst in the summer of 1760, this and La 
Presentation were abandoned and all the fighting force and 
material concentrated at Fort Levis. The Abb^ Picquet 
abandoned his mission and took refuge on a small island 
near Fort Levis and not far from Galot island, at the head 
of the upper rapids of the St. Lawrence. 

The army of Amherst assembled at Oswego, in June, 
amounted to about ten thousand English and provincial 
troops, and one thousand Indians under Sir William John- 
son, said to be the greatest number of savages that had, up 
to that time, been in the field on the side of the English. 
The army was well provided with siege artillery and all the 
necessary appliances for a finishing campaign against what 
few French troops yet remained in Canada. 

On the 16th of August the advance had occupied Point 
au Baril and La Presentation. On the 17th the French 
vessel " Outaouaise" was captured by armed barges belong- 

ing to Amherst's army, and on the 18th Fort Levis was 
completely invested. The English army encamped on 
Point de Ganataregoin, now Indian point, at Point a 
L'ivrogne, and on the islands La Cuisse and Magdeleine. 
Batteries were constructed on Indian point and on the 
islands, mounting forty-eight guns and mortars, and a fleet 
of several armed vessels and barges also added their fire to 
that of the batteries. The nearest batteries were tho&e 
upon the islands, from' four to six hundred yards distant, 
and having a raking fire upon the landing and the gorge- 
wall of the fort. The guns upon Indian point were distant 
about eight hundred yards.* 

But we are anticipating, and will now return to a rapid 
recapitulation of the operations which took place during 
1759, and to the time when M. Pouchot assumed command 
at Fort Levis in March, 1760. 

Early in May, 1759, M. Pouchot, then in command of 
Fort Niagara, sent a courier to the Chevalier M. de la 
Corne, at La Presentation, to notify him of an intended 
attack by the Iroquois, which, however, did not take place. 
As heretofore stated, M. Pouchot was compelled, after a 
vigorous siege, to surrender Niagara in July following. He 
was sent to the east as a prisoner. In November following, 
M. Pouchot, with most of the officers and garrison of 
Niagara, were exchanged, and, after many delays, arrived, 
via Lake Champlain, at Montreal, on Jan. 1, 1760. 

E-iily in July, 1759, M. de la Corne, then in command 
of Frontenac and La Presentation, moved with his whole 
force, consisting of four or five hundred Canadians and the 
Indians of the mission of La Presentation, accompanied by 
the Abb6 Picquet, up the river and across Lake Ontario 
to Oswego, landing at the same spot occupied by the Mar- 
quis de Montcalm three years before. Colonel Haldimand 
was in command of the force at Oswego, consisting of some 
five hundred men, who were without intrenchments. After 
considerable delay, caused by the desire of the Abbe Pic- 
quet to address the Indians and give them absolution, an 
attack was made, but it proved unsuccessful, and La Corne 
was obliged to retreat without accomplishing anything. In 
the hurry of the retreat the abb6 was very near being taken 

In August, 1759, M. de Levis, with about five hundred 
men, was sent to take post at La Presentation, and erect a 
fortification sufficient to cover the frontier. Upon a thorouaih 
examination of the vicinity he determined to fortify the 
island then called Oraquointon or Oraconenton, situated 
just above the upper rapids of the St. Lawrence, and some 
three miles below the mouth of the Oswegatchie river. 
Here he constructed a strong, compact work, under the su- 
pervision of M. des Androins, a competent engineer. M. 
de Levis remained until some time in September, when, 
finding the work well advanced, he took a part of the force 
and joined the French army at Quebec under Montcalm, 
leaving the fort under command of M. des Androins. 

An interesting picture of the domestic life of the Oswe- 

* This island, now called Chimney island, is owned by Messrs. 
Olds and Goodrich, of Ogdensburg. It is (juite a resort in summer. 
Several heavy guns and the remains of one or two bateaux are sunk 
near the island. Great quantities of solid shot, shells, and other 
relics, including a curious sun-dial of lead, have been exhumed. 



QutcMes is given in the Mowing extract from a narrative 
of a residence among them, vfhich may be found entire in 
" Drake's Indian Captivities" : 

" Robert Eastbnrn, a tradesman, while in company with others, on 
their way to Oswego, in March, 1756, while stopping at Captain Wil- 
liams' fort, at the carrying-place, near the present village of Rome, 
was taken captive by the Oswegatchie Indians, and kept for some 
time at their village near Fort Presentation, the site of Ogdensburg. 
"The attacking party consisted of four hundred French and three 
hundred Indians, commanded by one of the principal gentlemen of 
Quebec, and accompanied by a priest, probably Father Picquet. 

" The prisoners numbered eighteen or twenty, and their route led 
through Lewis and Jefferson counties to Lake Ontario, and thence to 
the post at the mouth of the Oswegatchie. 

" They were seven days in reaching the lake, and suffered greatly 
from want of provisions. April 4 they were met by several French 
bateaux, with a supply of provisions, and having crossed the mouth 
of a river where it empties into the east end of Lake Ontario, a great 
part of the company set off on foot towards Oswegatchie, while the 
rest proceeded by bateaux down the St. Lawrence. The adventures 
with which the party met are best given in the language of the orig- 
inal narrative : 

" ' By reason of had weather, — wind, rain, and snow, — whereby the 
waters of the lake were troubled, we were obliged to lay by, and haul 
our bateaux on shore. Here I lay on the cold shore two days. Tues- 
day, set off and entered the head of St. Lawrence in the afternoon ; 
came to, late at night, made fires, but did not lie down to sleep. 
Embarking long before day, and after some miles' progress down the 
river saw many fires on our right hand, which were made by the 
men who left us and went by land. "With them we stayed till day, and 
then embarked in our bateaux. The weather was very bad (it 
snowed fast all day); near night we arrived at Oswegatchy. I was 
almost starved to death, but hoped to stay in this Indian town till 
warm weather; slept in an Indian wigwam ; rose early in the morn- 
ing (being Thursday), and soon to my grief discovered my disap- 

" ' Several of the prisoners had leave to tarry here, but T must go 
two hundred miles farther down stream, to another Indian town. 
The morning being extremely cold, I applied to a French merchant 
or trader for some old rags of clothing, for I was almost naked, but 
to no purpose. About ten o'clock I was ordered into a boat to go 
down the river, with eight or nine Indians, one of whom was the man 
wounded in the skirmish above mentioned,'':'" 

" * At night we went on shore. The snow being much deeper than 
before, we cleared it away and made a large fire. Here, when the 
wounded Indian cast his eyes upon me, his old grudge revived. He 
took my blanket from me, and commanded me to dance around the 
fire barefoot and sing the prisoner's song, which I utterly refused. 
This surprised one of my fellow-prisoners, who told me they would 
put me to death, for he understood what they said. He therefore 
tried to persuade me to comply; but I desired him to let me alone, 
and was through great mercy enabled to reject his importunity with 

"'This Indian also continued urging, saying, "You shall dance 
and sing;" but apprehending my compliance sinful, I determined to 
persist in declining it at all adventures, and leave the issue to the 
Divine disposal. The Indian, perceiving his orders disobeyed, was 
fired with indignation, and endeavored to push me into the fire, which 
I leaped over, and he, being weak with his wounds, and not being 
assisted by any of his brethren, was obliged to desist. For this gra- 
cious interposure of Providence, in preserving me both from sin and 
danger, I desire to bless God while I live. 

" ' Friday morning I was almost perished with cold. Saturday we 
proceeded on our way, and soon came in sight of the upper part of 
the settlements of Canada.' 

" The party continued their journey towards Canasadosega, and on 
the route the wounded Indian, assisted by a French inhabitant, en- 
deavored again to compel Eastburn to dance and sing, but with no 
better success than before. On arriving at the town, which was thirty 
miles northwest of Montreal, he was compelled to run the gauntlet, 
and was saved from destruction only through the interposition of the 
women. Being assigned to an Indian family at Oswegatchie, in 
which he was adopted, ho set off on his return, and after a tedious 
and miserable voyage of several days arrived within three miles of 
the town, on the opposite side of the river. 

" ' Here I was to be adopted. My father and mother, whom I had 
never seen before, were waiting, and ordered me into an Indian 
house, where w.e were directed to sit down silent for a considerable 
time. The Indians appeared very sad, and my mother began to cry, 
and continued to cry aloud for some time, and then dried up her 
tears and received me for her son and took me over the river to the 

® Referring to a portion of the narrative not quoted. 

Indian town. The next day I was ordered to go to mass with them, 
but I refused once and again ; yet they continued their importunities 
several days. Seeing they could not prevail with me, they seemed 
much displeased with their new son. I was then sent over the river 
to be employed in hard labor, as a punishment for not going to mass, 
and not allowed a sight of, or any conversation with, my fellow- 
prisoners. The old Indian man, with whom I was ordered to work, 
had a wife and children. He took me into the woods with him and 
made signs for me to chop, and he soon saw that I could handle the 
axe. Here I tried to reconcile myself to this employ, that they might 
have no occasion against me except concerning the law of my God. 
The old man began to appear kind, and his wife gave me milk and 
bread when we came home, and when she got fish gave me the gills 
to cat, out of real kindness ; but perceiving I did not like the m, gave 
me my own choice, and behaved lovingly. When we had finished 
our fence, which had employed ns about a week, I showed the old 
squaw my shirt (having worn it from the time when I was first taken 
prisoner, which was about seven weeks), all rags, dirt, and vermin. 
She brought me a new one, with ruffled sleeves, saying, " That is 
good," which I thankfully accepted. The next day they carried me 
back to the Indian town, and permitted me to converse with my 
fellow-prisoners. They told me we were all to bo sent to Montreal, 
which accordingly came to pass.' 

"At a grand council held at Montreal, Eastburn mentions a noted 
priest, called Picquet, 'who understood the Indian tongue well, and 
did more harm to the English than any other of his order in Canada. 
His dwelling was at Oswegatchie.' 

"A plan of operations against Oswego was in progress, and great 
numbers of soldiers were in motion towards Lake Ontario, wiih 
bateaux laden with provisions and munitions of war. After a pain- 
ful journey, Eastburn arrived again at Oswegatchie; having received 
from his adopted mother the choice of remaining at Montreal or re- 
turning with her, and having chosen the latter alternative as afford- 
ing the best chance of escape. While here he daily "saw many 
bateaux, with provisions and soldiers, passing up to Fort Frontenae; 
which greatly distressed him for the safety of Oswego, and led him to 
form apian for notifying the English of the designs of their enemies. 

" ' To this end I told two of my fellow-prisoners that it was not a 
time to sleep, and asked them to go with me; to which they heartily 
agreed. But we had no provisions, and were closely eyed by the 
enemy, so that we could not lay up a stock out of our allowance. 

" ' However, at this time M. Picket had concluded to dig a large 
trench round the town. I therefore went to a negro, the principal 
manager of this work (who could speak English, French, and Indian 
well), and asked him if he could get employment for two others and 
myself, which he soon did. For this service we were to have meat 
[board] and wages. Here we had a prospect of procuring provision 
for our flight. This, after some time, I obtained for myself, and then 
asked my brethren if they were ready. They said "they were not 
yet, but that Ann Bowman (our fellow-prisoner) had brought $130 
from Bull's Fort [when it was destroyed as has been related], and 
would give them all- they needed." I told them it was not safe to 
disclose such a secret to her; but they blamed me for entertaining 
such fears, and applied to her for provisions, letting her know our in- 
tention. She immediately informed the priest of it. We were forth- 
with apprehended, the Indians informed of it, and a court called. 
Four of us were ordered by this court to be confined in a room, under 
a strong guard within the fort, for several days. From hence another 
and myself were sent to Cohnewago, under a strong guard of sixty 
Indians, to prevent my plotting any more against theFi-ench, and 
to banish all hope of my escape.' 

" Here he met with unexpected kindness, and lodged at the house 
of the mother of a French smith, whose name was Mary Harris, and 
had been taken captive while a child at Dcerfield, in New England. 

" He soon after went to Montreal, and while there saw the English 
captives and standards, the trophies of the French victory at Oswego 
of July 15, 1756, brought into town. Among the prisoners, 1400 in 
number, he recognized his own son. He remained a prisoner about 
a year after, and was at length permitted to leave for England with 
other prisoners, and finally returned home." 

A German soldier, who was captured or deserted from 
the French at Oswego, gives an interesting account of the 
situation of affairs on the frontier, and more particularly at 
La Presentation and Fort Levis. We make a few extracts 
from the notes in " Pouchot's Memoirs," translated by Dr. 
F. B. Hough : 

" Henry Young was a German, born near the Rhine, and came to 
America about 1757, in a morohant-ship, accompanied by about 
twenty other soldiers, who were enlisted in the French service for 
three years. He remained at Quebec, where'' he first landed, two 
months, when he was sent to Montreal, where he also remained about 



two months. From the latter place lie was sent to La Galette, in com- 
pany with others, as a convoy for four bateaux loaded with flour and 
brandy. A portion of the cargo went to Cadarac[ui. From that time 
Young served at Oswogatohie until the spring of 1759. The garrison 
consisted of forty men, who were generally employed in cutting 
timber for two stone houses building inside the fort, — one for the 
commandant, and one for the three priests which he said they had 

"Before the snow was q^uite gone in the spring of 1759 ho was 
sent, with twenty-five of the garrison of La Galette, to work on the 
Isle Gralot. The fort at La Galette was square, with stockade and 
four good block-houses. The French had intended to have made 
additional works there, but had not time. They had •■ thousand 
barrels of flour and pork at this place, which, upon hearing of the 
design of the English to advance in this direction, they conveyed to 
Isle Galot. After remaining there for about three weeks, the pro- 
visions were re-shipped to Niagara in two vessels. These vessels, 
and a third which was unfinished when the carpenters were ordered 
to Quebec, were built at Point Baril, three leagues from La Galette. 

"The twenty-five men sent from La Galette to Isle Galot* re- 
mained a month, when they were joined by two hundred more' from 
Point Baril, and the whole party began constructing a strong work 
by cutting away the timber, which they formed into a sort of ahatis, 
and then threw up a parapet or breastwork of logs, filled with earth, 
twelve feet broad, and mounted with twelve guns, which he thought 
were twelve-pounders, and two smaller ones. Young left Isle Galot 

nished with mounts, and three bateaux loaded with provisions also 
joined him from Isle Galot. At Point Baril there was a breastwork, 
but La Corue ordered it leveled, and the guns were taken to the fort 
on Isle Galot. 

"Young further states that it was understood in case the English 
should come by way of La Galette all the inferior posts were to 
be evacuated, and their garrisons were to join that at La Galette. 
La Corno had ordered a quantity of pitch ready to burn the vessel 
then on the stocks in case of extremity. At that time the French 
had a small picket of twelve men on duty at Isle Chevercuil to give 
alarm if the English should appear. This guard was relieved every 
eight days from Frontenac. 

"Very few Smegalchie Indians accompanied La Come on the Oswego 
expedition. He stated that the cook of M. Celeron told him that 
after the Oswego affair was over the troops would all return to Ca- 
rillon or Quebec." 


As the siege and capture of this remarkable fortification 
forms, probably, the most memorable chapter in the mili- 
tary history of St. Lawrence County, it seems eminently 
proper that a thorough description should be given in this 
work ; and as there are various accounts, French, English, 
and American, we give copious extracts from the different 

From plan in " Pouchot's Memoirs." 

June 24, 1759, in company with the Chevalier La Corne, who was on 
the island eighteen days, during which time he employed all the men 
in forwarding and strengthening the fortifications. The powder- 
magazine, the baking-ovens for the use of the garrison, and a dwell- 
ing-house were constructed of limestone from Oswegatohie. 

"When La Corne moved with the expedition destined against 
Oswego he left one hundred men at Isle Galot, three at Oswegatchio, 
twelve at Point Baril, and a small guard at Frontenac. He left Isle 
Galotf with twelve hundred men and one hundred and fifteen Indians. 
He halted a day at Point Baril, where some of his oificers were fur- 

» Evidently this refers to Isle Oraconenton, now Chimney island, 
f Oraconenton, now Chimney island. 

writers, who disagree somewhat in the particulars, but as 
regards the important facts correspond sufficiently for all 
practical purposes. The commander of the besieged fort- 
ress, M. Pouchot, a distinguished engineer and officer of 
the French army, has given to the world in his memoirs,^ 
published in Switzerland about 1783, a particular account of 
the operations in which he was engaged in the years from 
1755 to 1760 ; and in justice to this distinguished officer. 

t Translated by Dr. B. F. Hough, and published in 1866. 



and to assist in getting at the real facts in the ease, we 
copy from his -work a very fall account of the operations 
around Fort Levis, commencing at the date of Pouchot's 
assuming command of the place in March, 1760. This 
was the last stronghold surrendered by the French in North 
America, and as such deserves more than ordinary atten- 

"At the beginning of March, MM. De Vaudreuil and De L6vis de- 
termined to send M. Pouchot upon the ice to take command of Fort 
Levis, upon the Isle of Orakointon, near La Presentation, and to re- 
call M. des Androins, an engineer who had remained there since Sep- 
temher. This engineer was needed for the siege of Quebec," towards 
which the most active preparations were made as rapidly as possible. 
M. Pouchot realized all the difficulties of the commission with which 
he was charged, on account of the scanty resources at his command. 
But his zeal for the service led him to overlook all these difficulties. 
He was promised, in the spring, a reinforcement of twelve or fifteen 
hundred Canadians. 

" On the 17th of March, in company with the Abbe Pioquet, mis- 
sionary at La Presentation, and five men, with three sleds, he left 
Montreal and proceeded to Fort Levis, where he found si.x Canadian 
officers: M. Bertrand, an officer of artillery ; MM. Colerons, brothers; 
La Boularderie, De Bleury, and De Poilly, cadets, and one hundred 
and fifty colonial soldiers. There were also present the captains of 
the two corvettes, ' La Force' and ' La Broqurie,' and their crews of 
one hundred and eighty men. 

" The fort had only been made as a rampart, reveted with sancin- 
tifme. The barracks, magazines, and officers' quarters, and other 
structures for use in the fort, were finished of wood, piece upon piece, 
and covered with planks.f 

" M. Pouchot, to render this post susceptible of defense, built upon 
the parapet, which was eighteen feet wide, another of nine feet, of 
timber, piece upon piece, and filled with earth, which he was obliged 
to bring from off the island.^ In this parapet he made embrasures. 
Under this parapet he left a berm, four feet wide on the outside, fur- 
nished with a frieze. What was left of the first parapet on the inside 
was u.sed as a banquette. The rampart was thus raised eleven feet 
from the surrounding level. This additional work was rendered neces- 
sary for the protection of the interior of the fort, which was com- 
manded by grounds of twenty-four feet elevation, on the islands 
La Cuisse and La Magdeleine. 

" M. Pouchot also caused to he constructed a gallery of pieces of 
oak, fourteen inches square and ten feet long, which extended along 
the rampart, and served as a terre-plein, and underneath as case- 
mates. The batteries were placed upon this gallery or platform, all 
around the island. He formed an epaulment of earth, four feet in 
thickness, taken mostly from the bed of the river, the island being 
only about two feet above the water. An abatis of branches of trees 
was placed upon the outside of this epaulment, and extended out as 
far as possible into the water, to prevent boats from landing. At 
the point of the island, this epaulment was terminated by a redoubt 
of timbers, one above another, and pierced for five cannon. On both 
sides of the island there were left two places, formed as quays, so 
that our boats could land. 

"All these works fully occupied the little garrison, which was only 
increased by a hundred militia during the campaign. As most of 
these militia had been employed only to bring provisions, at least 
twenty deserted, and returned down the river with the bateaux 
which were used in bringing articles from the shore, as there was 
found neither soil, stone,g nor timber upon the island. The ditches, 
which were five toises wide, had to be only two feet deep to be filled 
with water. Along a part of the epaulment, the banquette was 
formed of oak chips made in squaring the timbers. 

*■ Alluding to the siege by the French in the spring of 1760, which 
was raised by the arrival of the English fleet. 

t This description disagrees with Henry Young's account, and 
also with the present state of the ruins, which show that several of 
the buildings and magazines were built of stone. 

J That is, from some other locality, as there was very little on this 

g Meaning, probably, qu.arry-stone, as bowlders were plenty. 

" The glacis was made of firewood, which Was covered where most- 
exposed on the side towards Isle de Magdeleine. All the iron whioh( 
could bo found in the ruins of Fort Frontenae, together with eight 
old iron guns without trunnions, were brought down, and' the guns 
were mounted on frames like mortar-carriages, so that they could be' 

" All the Indians at La Presentation, including a famous one called' 
Kountngeli, visited M. Pouchot upon his arrival at Fort Levis, and 
on the 30th of March there arrived an Oneida Indian, named Tacana 
Onenda (Buried Meat), a friend of the English, who made a speech 
stating that he was employed by the Iroquois to persuade the Christian 
Indians at La Presentation and the Savt to return to their people. 

"M. de Vaudreuil having desired M. Pouchot to tend him all 
news possible concerning the enemy, he hired a chief of La Pre- 
sentation, named Charles, one of those who accompanied the Abb6 
Pioquet to France in 1752, to go to Oswego, as if from a hunting 
excursion, and get information concerning the English movements 
and plans. By him M. Pouchot sent a few peltries. He left on the 
1st of April. This Indian was capable and cunning, and spoke very 
good French. He visited Oswego, where he obtained considerable 
important information. He said the English were apprehensive of 
trouble from the two French vessels at Fort Levis, and told him they 
were going to kindle a great fire at Oswego, and when a great army 
had assembled they would go down to Montreal. They said they 
knew the French had a fort on an island, but they could pass it as 
they would a beaver's hut, and laughed at the idea of the French 
building it. He said the Cmjugas told him they were going to re- 
main quiet in the contest. A great council was held at the fort, at 
which it was resolved to send an embassy to the Five Nations. 

" On the 28th of April two other Indians were sent towards Os- 
wego, and a party of five Mississac/as were equipped and sent on an 
expedition. On the 30th three or four chiefs from La Presentation 
reported that hostile Indians {Onondagaa) were in the vicinity. 

" On the 4th of May two Mississaga Indians visited the fort, and 
represented that their people wanted to come and settle on this side 
of the lake. On the 7th of May two St. Regis Indians arrived from 
Oswego, where they had remained seven days. They reported that 
the post-commander had issued orders to get all the bateaux in 
readiness. The English army was assembling at Fort Stanwix, the 
eighteen-gun vessel had arrived at Oswego from Niagara, and 
another was momentarily expected. Sir William Johnson was to 
hold a great Indian council, and try and persuade the Indians to 
join the English. 

" On the 9th of May all the chiefs of La Presentation assembled at 
the fort to see M. Pouchot. The air was full of rumors of what the 
English and Indians were going to do. There were rumors that the 
Ottaicas and other Western Indians would join the English, and the 
French Indians were in great alarm. On the 14th a Mississaga In- 
dian arrived from Oswego. He stated that there was a very large 
army assembled there, and word was sent to the La Presentation 
Indians that if they did not wish to be destroyed they must remove 
to the island of l'oniata.\\ The intention of the English was not to 
stop long at Fort Levis. They were going to plant batteries all 
around it and batter it until their barges could land on every side 
and take it. On the 16tb five Mississagas arrived with three Ameri- 
can prisoners whom they had captured near Oswego. They reported 
that there were five thousand men at that place. 

"On the 18th, M. Pouchot held a grand council, at which he en- 
deavored to persuade the Indians at Chnncgatchie, or La Presentation, 
to recall the families that had gone to Toniatu island. The Indians 
finally concluded to let them do as they pleased. 

" An Iroquois, named Sans-Souci, who came from Oswego, did not 
wish to attend this council. In the evening he hunted up M. Pou- 
chot, who was walking around the fort, and the latter reproached 
him for going to Oswego without notifying him, and for speaking il] 
of the French. The Indian denied everything. He said that the 
commandant at Oswego had spoken to him as follows: 'Is it true 
that the commandant of Niagara is at Orakoniton? He will then 
die, as he did last year, and this time he will die, together with all 
the Indians that are with him. In six days the other vessel will 
arrive from Niagara, and we shall then set out. Our army will con- 
sist of twelve thousand men, and we will go at once and establish 

II Grenadier island, at the outlet of Lake Ontario. It is somewhat 
doubtful what island was meant. 



ourselves at La Presentation. After having surrounded it with our 
vessels and barges, we will batter his fort by turning all the shores 
and islands near, and we will hold fast. We will then go on down 
to Montreal.' 

" This Indian also reported that the English had at Oswego, lying 
around the vessel mentioned, more than two hundred bateaux. Ho 
asked Pouchot why he had not mounted his guns. The latter re- 
plied that he would not put them in place until he was ready to fight 
the English, as he did not wish to inform them how many ho had 
nor where they were placed. 

" On the 18th, M. Pouchot sent out a party of fourteen Indians. 
His Indians announced, from the Island of Toniata, the return of their 
people who had gone to establish themselves there, and that they had 
given up their "English flag. One of the Indians from Oswego said 
it was the * Grand Sabre'^J"' who was to command the English army. 

" On the 27th, La Broquerie, who was to command the barque 
'Outauaise,' arrived at the fort. On the 30th, Oratori came from 
Toniata and informed Pouchot that the Indian called Sans-Souci had 
gone bacli to Oswego, and that he was paid by the English to come 
and inspect Fort Levis and learn what the French were doing. He 
stated that an Iroquois party would arrive in about eight days by 
way of the South river, not wishing to assemble their canoes, as the 
English would know they were abroad.f They expected to strike 
by Oneida lake. The same day an Indian arrived from Oswego, 
saying the commandant wished to engage the Oiiondaijaa to form a 
war-party, but they had refused. If those of Chouegatchi should 
strike, they would raise a band of the Bears and strike St. Regis. 

" A few days later, KouatagetS arrived at La Presentation, having 
in tow two bark canoes which he had taken from n party of eight 
Indians and an Englishman, who had come to strike near the fort. 

'* On the 4th of June four Mim-iasnga chiefs came to the fort, where 
they held a council and made speeches, to which M. Pouchot replied. 
On the 18th the two vessels, with one hundred men on board, were 
sent by M. Pouchot to cruise in the vicinity of Oswego. They took 
a month's provisions. About this time there appeared a prodigious 
quantity of that kind of little millers that come in the night and fly 
around a candle. They called them Manne, and they fell like snow. 
They were very annoying by getting into the food, and by night the 
lights attracted them so that we could hardly write. They appeared 
for fifteen days, and of different colors, as grey, speckled, yellow, and 
white. To these succeeded a kind of white midge, very troublesome 
from their numbers, but they did not sting. The rains killed them, 
and the earth was covered so that they were two fingers-breadth deep 
on all the ramparts, and three or four inches in the bateaux, where 
they decayed and infected the air. We were obliged to shovel them 
away as we do snow. These midges were nevertheless useful, as those 
that fell into the river gave nourishment to the fish, which grew to a 
large size, and the Indians caught them in great quantities, especially 
eels, in the vicinity of Toniata.J 

" All the soil of the island, which was very shallow, was covered 
with thousands of little toads. In the environs wo found plenty of 
mushrooms, five or six inches apart, and nearly three inches thick 
at the base, of a most luscious taste. M. de Vaudreuil sent up at 
this time forty Abeuakia Indians from down the river, to whom M. 
Pouchot gave the Isle des Galots to plant. 

"About the 27th of June a party of Soups arrived from a foray 
with two English prisoners and one scalp. One of the prisoners was 
a militia captain and the other was his brother. They lived on the 
Mohawk river. M. Pouchot, when a prisoner, had lodged at their 
house, and had not been well treated. The Indians had dresssd and 
painted them like themselves, and compelled them to dance the 
Ohichicoy, the common dance of their slaves. M. Pouchet recog- 
nized them, and sent them to lodge with the post-surgeon and to eat 
at his mess. These prisoners stated that General Amherst com- 
manded the English army, which consisted of eleven thousand men 
and a large amount of artillery, then rapidly concentrating at 

" On the 30th of June the Indian, Saoten, arrived. He said that 

» General Amherst. 

f This evidently refers to a party in the French interest. 

J These millers are described by Dr. Asa Fitch, State Entomologist, 
in a letter to Dr. Hough, as belonging to the ph-yganea group of 
insects, commonly called eaddia-Jlies and water-moiha. The others 
he called chironomiia. Both species are very plenty in June. 

eight days before he had left the Onondaga village, crossing the river 
near Oneida lake ; that they had heard the strokes of oars along the 
river for twenty days, and that he had passed eight bands and 
eight chiefs.^ They were wagoning provisions constantly, and had 
a great many cannon, mortars, and howitzers. 

"On the 1st of July, M. Pouchot sent the prisoners, with the news, 
to Montreal. On the 6th there arrived a detachment and an oflieer 
whom M. Pouchot had sent to carry provisions to the vessels. They 
had been as far as Corbeau|| without finding them, because they had 
been cruising in the lake near Oswego. 

■' On the 13th, M. Pouchot sent a detachment to La Presentation, 
which had been abandoned by the Indians of that mission since 
winter, to bring some planks and iron work for the use of the fort, 
and to dismantle and ruin the missions, so they should not serve as 
a shelter to the enemy." 

These ruins were disturbed in 1831, when digging for a 
foundation on which to lay the keel of the steamer " United 
States," and the tablet bearing the Latin inscription, which 
was placed in the wall of the mission-house by Father 
Picquet, was found, and subsequently placed over the south 
door of the State arsenal building near the water-works. 

" On the 14th, La Force's canoe arrived with letters giving an ac- 
count of his recnnnoisaance at Oswego, together with a sketch of the 
position of the enemy, which agreed substantially with the accounts 
given by the Indians. The same day at 2 o'clock p.m. there came up 
a vinlent storm from the northwest, with terrific thunder and attended 
by a very singular phenomenon. This was a column of fire, which, 
with a roar and lightning, fell upon the end of the island. The 
waters rose so that they formed an immense wave, which, after cov- 
ering both ends of the island, retired. It carried off a dock made 
for landing, sunk a Jacobite bateau, and filled the others, which 
were thrown upon the strand. 

'* On the 16th, M. Pouchot sent back the detachment which he had 
dispatched with provisions for the vessels, who soon returned having 
executed their orders. La Force informed M. Pouilly, the lieutenant 
of the detachment, that from the quantity of barges he had seen in 
Oswego river he thought that this was the grand army, and from the 
fact that they had arrived in the interval between bis two visits 
before Oswego, he judged they would be ready to leave in eight days. 
M. Pouchot sent these new observations to Montreal by an Indian. 

" On the 22d, a squaw from La Presentation reported that five In- 
dians had visited that point, and made many inquiries of her regard- 
ing the French. They reported Kouataget6 a prisoner with the 
English, but unharmed, and promised the Indians at La Presentation 
and Toniata protection if they would remain where they were. 

" The garrison had about sixty men out daily as a working party. 
On the 24th there arrived a convoy of provisions from Montreal. 
They announced that the English were above Richelieu, and that they 
feared the junction of Amherst and Murray, but they did not know 
there was another great army at or near St. Frederick.^ 

"On the 25th, at ten o'clock p.m., the canoe of La Force arrived. 
He reported that on the 22d he had met near the Galloo islands an 
English vessel, which was soon joined by another. Our corvette 
then took flight and came to anchor at Toniata, having lost sight of 
both during the chase. 

" On the 27th, seventy women, children, and old Indians departed 
for Montreal, being driven off by fear. On the 29th there arrived 
eight canoe-loads of Iroquoia Indians, who had fled from their 
fishing-ground at Toniata from fear of the English. They reported 
seeing two large English vessels, and had seen ten bateaux passing 
the Isle of Cedars filled with troops. On the 30th, more Indians 
arriving reported the English passing the Thousand Islands. 

" On the 1st of August, La Force sent his shallop to inform M. 
Pouchot that his vessel, the * Iroquois,' had struck upon a poulier*'^-" in 
the middle of the river above Point au Baril. The latter immediately 
sent some bateaux to get her off. On the 5th the two vessels came 
to anchor at La Presentation, and the commander. La Force, came 
down to the fort. The ' Iroquois' made twelve inches of water an 

g Regiments. || Near Kingston. 

1 Crown Point, on Lake Champlain. 
"■■'■^ A mass of bowlders forming a bar. 



hour, and had flfteeu feet of the forward part of her keel broken. 
She was repaird in the best manner possible. 

" On the 8th the captured Indian, Kouatagete, arrived, three 
days from Oswego, with an Oneida and a Mohawk, as deputies sent 
by the Five Nations* to engage our Indians to remain neutral. 
Kouatagete informed M. Pouohot that General Amherst had been 
fifteen days at Oswego, and that he had seen and spoken with him 
several times; that their army was about ten or fifteen thousand 
strong, consisting of eight regiments : a red with blue trimmings, 
or red and yellow; a Scotch, red with black trimmings; Gage's 
regiment light infantry, blue and red; and a great many with caps; 
and that he had counted sixty cannon. 

" On the 10th a great council was held at the Isle Piquet with the 
deputies of the Five Nations, at which very flattering speeches were 
made by the deputies, who endeavored to persuade the French In- 
dians to withdraw from the contest and let the whites fight it out 
alone. They presented wampum from General Amherst, saying that 
he would be at Chouegatchie in six days, when he would fight the 
French, and that the Master of life only knew what would happen. 
M. Pouchot made a speech, wherein he accused the Indians of 
cowardice and of being bought by the brandy of the English. 

" On the 13th five Indians brought letters from M. de Vaudreuil, 
informing M. Pouchot that the English were at Three Rivers, from 
St. Frederic, and only awaiting the arrival of Amherst to march 
upon Montreal. 

" On the 15th the ' Iroquois' was repaired. 

" On the 16th, at seven o'clock in the evening, two Indians return- 
ing from the chase, announced that the English army was encamped 
at Point an Baril and the advance-guard at La Presentation. The 
two Indians had visited La Broquerie, on the * Outaouaise,' who wrote 
nothing, but fired three signal-guns to notify M. Pouchot of danger. 

"On the 17th, at three o'clock in the morning, M. Pouchot de- 
spatched a courier to M. de Vaudreuil to notify him of the arrival 
of the English army. About seven o'clock, the weather being very 
calm. General Amherst ordered an attack upon the ' Outaouaise,' 
which was lying in a place away from the currents, by six barges, 
called Cai-caaaieres, each carrying thirty men and a twelve-pounder. 
They surrounded the vessel, and, after a hot contest of three hours, 
she was forced to surrender."}- ^ 

" Four shallops armed with swivels were sent upfrom Fort Levis by 
M. Pouchot to aid the ' Outaouaise,' but arrived too late. The com- 
mander ofthe fort had hoped she would have run down and anchored 
under the protection of his guns, but the strong currents prevented.t 

« They were still called so, although there were then six nations. 

t David Humphreys, the historical writer, tells some wonderful 
stories about the exploits of Col. Israel Putnam at this time, but 
they are altogether too marvelous for belief. 
. X The account given by Knox (II., p. 404) is as follows : 

"17th. The ' Outawa' brig attempted to escape up tho river in the morning, 
but was intercepted by our row-galleya commanded by Col. Williamson, wlio 
attacked lier vigorously, when, after an obstinate engagement of two hour'3 and 
upwards, wherein she liad filtoen men killed and wounded, her commander, M. 
de la Broquerie, thought proper to strike. It has been observed before that 
four of these galleys curried each a brass twclve-ponnUer and the fifth a how- 
itzer. This is a remarkable action and does great credit to the colonel, who 
was a volunteer on the occasion ; for tlie brig mounted one eigliteon-pounder 
seven twelve-pounders, two eights, with four swivels, and had one hundred men 
on board, being a topsail of near one hundred and sixty tons. She discharged 
seventy-two rounds; and the galleys, who had five oiBcera and twenty-five 
artillerymen only, exclusive of provincial rowers, fired one hundred and 

"The General was highly pleased at this capture, which he testified by his 
acknowledgments to tho colonel and officers, with a generous reward to the 
gunners. Sucli was tho service performed by four guns and one howilzer, with 
the sole loss of one man killed and two wounded." 

An account given by Knox (II., p. 409) says that the action lasted 
two hours and a quarter, and that the howitzer only fired twice, as 
some timbers in that galley gave way. It further adds : 

"On board of the galleys, independent of the provincials who rowed wore 
twenty-five of the Koyal Artillery, together with Capt. Starkey, Lieutenants 
Williamson, Stiindish, Davis, and Conner, six to each vessel ; and Col William 
son rowed in a small boat from galley to galley, giving directions how to at- 
tack most efl'cctually and with greatest safety." 

The general gave the artillerymen twenty-five guineas. 
The afiair is related by Mante as follows : 
"On tho 17th the row-galleys, well manned, advanced with the utmost intre- 

"On the 18th the enemy left La Presentation with a fresh breeze. 
Their whole army remained about four hours in battle array in their 
bateaux at the beginning of the rapids,^ forming a very fine spec- 
tacle. M. Pouohet then thought that they intended to attack with a 
strong force, and make an entry upon the island. He had accord- 
ingly placed nine guns to fight up the river, and had placed the 
others in the epaulement so that they could make eleven rebounds 
upon the water. The enemy would have lost heavily in attempting to 
land under this fire. They finally determined to file along the north 
shore, with considerable intervals between the bateaux, to avoid the 
fire. They caused the 'Outaouaise,* which they had taken, to ap- 
proach within half cannon-shot to cover them.j[ 

**M. Pouchot only sought to retard their passage by four pieces, 
which he could bring to bear upon them. We fired a hundred and 
fifty shot with very little damage, in consequence of the winds and 
currents spoiling the aim. As M. Pouchot knew many of the ofiBcers 
of this army, several of them bade him good-day in passing, and 
others thought from our allowing them to pass that they were his 
friends, but did not stop to pay any compliments. The greater part of 
the army encamped at Point d'lvrogne.^ They also threw quite a 
force upon La Cuisso, La Magdelcine, and Les Galots islands. 

"On the 19th their regiment of artillery left Old Galette, with all 
their field artillery, and defiled past, as the former had done, to go 
and encamp at Point d'lvrogne. The vessel kept up the heaviest 
fire possible to cover them. We fired but little at the bateaux, be- 
cause it was attended with but little success; but rather directed our 
attention to the vessel. Of fifty shots that we fired, at least forty- 
eight went through the body of the vessel, which obliged them to get 
a little further away. Their captain, named Smul, behaved with tho 
greatest bravery, walking continually on the deck in his shirt sleeves. 
He had many men disabled. The two other vessels, one of twenty- 
two guns, eights and sixes, named the ' Seneca.,' and the other of 
eighteen pieces of sixes, named the ' Oneida, ''J"-" came in the evening 
and took position by the side of the former. 

" On the 20th there was quite a movement of the enemy's army, and 
a great number of bateaux went and came from their camp at La 
Presentation. They also encamped two regiments at Point de Gana- 
taragoin,f-|- who began to throw up earthworks on that side, as also 
on the islands La Cuisse and La Magdeleine. We fired some volleys 
of cannon at them to disturb the laborers, but had to be extremely 
saving of our powder, not having more than five thousand pounds 
when the enemy arrived. 

" On the 21st everything remained quiet, as the enemy were work- 
ing with their full force on their batteries. Their vessels withdrew 
also beyond cannon range. We fired on the laborers, but without 
much result, as they were already covered and their ground was some 
twenty-four feet higher than that of the island. 

"By noon we discovered their embrasures, and in the evening 
their bateaux made a general movement, and we counted as many as 
thirty-six barges, carrying each at least twenty men who threw them- 
selves into the three vessels, from which we judged they were going 
to attack the next morning. We consequently worked to make epaule- 
ments of wood to cover the parties that we thought would be tjie most 
exposed in the direction of the enemy's batteries. All the artillery 
was loaded with shot and grape, and every one was ordered to pass 
the night at his post. 

" On the 22d, at five in the morning, the three vessels approached 
to within about two hundred toises of the fort, and occupied the 
whole range of the river above, from the island La Cuisse to Point 
Ganataragoin, from which we concluded they intended to cannonade 
us vigorously from the vessels and land batteries. They formed 

pidity under a very heavy fire from the enemy, but it did not in theleast damp 
the ardor of the assailants. Their fire was returned with such resolution and 
bravery that, after a severe contest of about four hours, the French vessel 
struck her colors. She mounted ten twolvo-pounders, and had on board one 
hundred men, twelve of whom wore killed or wounded. Two of Col, William- 
son's detachment wore killed and three wounded. The general immediately 
named tho vessel tho ' Williamson,' in honor of the colonel, and to perpetuate 
the momory of so gallant an action." 

J Above tho island near Indian Point. 

II Under Lieut. Sinclair. 

If On tho north shore, in rear of Isle la Magdelcine. 

-» These vessels were called by Knox the " Onondaga" and the 

tt Now called Indian Point. 



together, a half-circle around the forts. M. Pouchot ordered the 
artillery officer to collect his pieces, and put them under cover of 
merlons, so that they should not he dismounted. Ho also masked 
hia embrasures with the ends of great logs of wood to represent 
cannon. "We were only clear and in condition to resist from above. 

"As soon as the vessels were placed, they began a very brisk and 
continuous fire from twenty-five guns, and, at the same time, un- 
masked the battery at Ganataragoin, consisting of two twenty-fours 
and four twelves, as, also, that on the island of La Magdeleine, of two 
pieces of twenty-four and six of twelve. At the first volley, M. 
Bertrand, artillery officer, was instantly killed by a cannon-ball 
through his loins, as he stood pointing out to M. Pouchot the calibre 
of their guns. 

" A quarter of an hour later, they began to throw bombs from the 
island of La Magdeleine, where they had two twelve-inch bomb-mor- 
tars, six mortars for royal grenades, and two howitzers. On the 
island La Cuisse six mortars for royal grenades, and on Point Gana- 
taragoin two twelve-inch mortars, two for royal grenades, and two 
howitzers, — making, in all, seventy-five mouths of fire. 

"M. Pouchot received quite a bruise from a, piece of wood ten 
feet long and fourteen inches square, which a twelve-inch bomb 
knocked over, injuring his back, but this did not prevent him from 
being wherever he was needed. 

" All these batteries were served with the greatest vigor, and with- 
out ceasing till noon, and made the fort fly into pieces and splin- 
ters. Our ttien remained under cover, each one at his post, and the 
sentinels only observed the movements of the enemy. Thinking, 
from our silence, that we were perhaps disconcerted, they advanced 
their vessels to within pistol-shot of the fort. Xhey were filled with 
troopp, even to the rigging, and were supported by the fire of all the 
land batteries. 

"Fortunately, they could only come before the fort one by one, 
from the manner in which the first came up, and which saw as far as to 
the entrance of the fort, which was also enfiladed by the battery of 
La Magdeleine. M. Pouchot had in advance covered this with heavy 
blindages, leaving only a passage sufficient for one man. 

"He thought that the enemy intended to attack with a heavy 
force. At least 3000 men, volunteers, grenadiers, and light troops, 
were embarked in bateaux, and placed behind the point of La Cussie 
island, from whence they could emerge under the fire of the three 
vessels and the hind batteries. The movements of the vessels soon 
induced M. Pouchot to place 150 men and four officers on the side 
opposite the epaulement. He fought the vessels, one after another, 
with five guns, the only ones that were mounted, charged with balls 
and grape, without replying to the land batteries. 

" Notwithstanding the superiority of the enemy's fire, with our 
five pieces and our musketry, we forced the 'Outaouaise' and then 
the ' Oneida' to run aground half a league from the fort, near the 
Galot islands. One of the two was rendered unfit for service. 
The * Seneca,' of 32 guns, in trying to come nearer the fort, 
grounded also, and was so cut to pieces that she struck her flag, 
having then on board 350 men. The side of the vessel toward the 
fort was in a very bad condition ; her battery touched the water, and 
her port-holes made only one opening. The water she had taken in 
made her lean towards the fort."^- M. Pouchot gave orders to dis- 

*■ "The 'Mohawk' came down with the other two, who seemed in- 
clined to follow, and fired briskly, when very near the fort, for a 
considerable time, but was so roughly handled that she was obliged 
to cut her cable and bear away, for fear of sinking. By this time, 
the 'Williamson' came into play, but, receiving a shot in an unlucky 
place, started a plank, which obliged her to retire to a neighboring 
island for repairs. The ' Onondaga' at length came down, but not 
taking the same course, stopped in shallow water pretty near the 
enemy, who fired every time into her, where she could not help her- 
self. Though within four hundred yards of one of our own batteries, 
she struck to the enemy, and sent a bateau to them with four men 
and Mr. Thornton, the commander's second, who looked at that dis- 
tance so much like Loring, they thought at the batteries it was him. 
The same boat rowing back again to the ship with one of her crew, 
probably to fire her, Capt. Adam Williamson, the engineer, pointed 
a gun and fired through her, taking both the fellows' arms off, which 
made her row into shore directly. Perceiving that there was a 
squabble on board the ' Onondaga,' about what they should do, the 
general sent an officer's party on board (Lieut. Pennington), who 

continue the fire, as he wished to save his powder. The second cap- 
tain and some sailors came to surrender. M. Pouchot retained them 
as hostages, but could not receive the whole, as they were more 
numerous than the garrison. 

"In the intervals between these combats the enemy attempted to 
land two or throe times to make an attack from the point opposite 
the Isle la Cuisse, but two guns that were pointed in that direction 
restrained thom, and made them retire behind the point. It is prob- 
able that the bad condition in which they found their vessels took 
away their desire for advancing. This action lasted from five in the 
morning to half-past seven in the evening, without cessation. We 
had forty men killed and wounded. We cannot too much praise the 
firmness which the officers, colonial soldiers, militia, and especially 
the gunners, who were sailors, displayed on this occasion. Several 
of the latter could never be rewarded for their address and activity 
in serving their pieces. The enemy, like ourselves, fired grape and 
ball constantly. M. Pouchot directed a blacksmith to cut up some 
old irons, with which he filled sacks, and put into his guns, adding a 
ball, which did terrible execution upon the vessels, on account of the 
height of the ramparts, which placed them under our fires, so that 
we could see upon their decks. 

" One thing which amused the garrison at the most serious moments 
of the battle was that the Indians, who were perched upon their 
trenches and batteries to watch the contest with the vessels, which 
they regarded as on their side, on account of the names that had been 
given them, because they carried an Indian painted on their flags, 
made furious cries at seeing them so maltreated. The English had 
assured them that with these vessels alone they would make the place 
surrender. When the Indians saw them drift ofi" and ground they 
redoubled their cries, and sung out railing names at the English, 
saying, 'You did not want to kill our father at Niagara. See how 
you are taking him. If you had listened to us you would not have 
been here. A Frenchman's fist has made you cringe.' This action 
had, however, dismantled all the tops of the parapets around half of 
the fort, thrown down the fascines that were placed on the side of La 
Cuisse island, and in front of the two demi-bastions. 

"At night M. Pouchot endeavored to repair with sacks of earth 
the batteries of the bastion opposite the island so that they could be 
served. This bastion was ready to tumble down, and we could have 
walked upon the slope of the earth that had fallen in. The enemy 
continued through the night to bombard us, and fired volleys of can- 
non from each battery, loaded with shot and grape, at intervals, to 
prevent us from making repairs. We had two men killed and several 

" On the 23d the enemy continued to bombard and cannonade vig- 
orously all day, and at night tried the same bombardment and volleys 
of cannon at intervals as on the night previous.. 

" On the 24th they unmasked a new battery to break down the 
wooden redoubt at the end of the island, and to enfilade our intrench- 
menta on the side opposite the islands. Their batteries continued as 
violently as on the preceding days, and fires caught in the ruins of 
the magazine and in the quarters of the commandant, but these were 
happily extinguished without the enemy observing our difficulty. 
We had but little trouble to take care of what little powder and balls 
we had left. Th& enemy's batteries dismounted all the guns of the 
bastion opposite the islands. The coffers of the parapet were razed 
down to within two feet of the terreplehi, greatly exposing the powder 
magazine, which was only made of some large beams. 

"On the 25th, at daybreak, M. Pouchot fired vigorously with three 
pieces upon the batteries which troubled us the most, and which were 
the only ones left on the side attacked. Even one of these three 
pieces, and the most important one, wanted a third of its length, 

hoisted the colors again, and saved her for ourselves." — Account 
quoted hy Knox, 

"The general ordered Lieut. Sinclair from the ' Williamson' brig 
and Lieut. Pennington, with two detachments of grenadiers under 
their command, to take possession of the * Onondaga,' and they 
obeyed their orders with such undaunted resolution, that the English 
colors were again hoisted on board her. But the vessel, after all, 
could not be got off"; and was therefore, abandoned about midnight. 
The English batteries, however, put a, stop to any attempt of the 
enemy to board her. Capt. Loring being wounded, was in the* 
meantime sent ashore.'' — Mante. 



having been broken twice. Notwithstanding its calibre, wo put in 
two or three small balls. 

" The activity of our fire put the Bnglish in bad humor, and in the 
afternoon they redoubled theirs from all their batteries, and iired 
red-hot balls, fire-pots, and carcasses. This was too much for this 
miserable fort, which was now only a litter of carpenter's wood and 
fascines. The hot shot set fire to the eaucissonn of the interior of the 
revetment of the bastion, but we extinguished it. From this may 
be seen the condition of the ramparts. Some fire-pots also kindled 
twice in the debris of the fort, and we also extinguished these flames 
with water found in the holes made by bursting shells. 

" This determined M. Pouchot, with the advice of all the ofRoers of 
the garrison, to write to General Amherst, complaining against this 
kind of warfare, never used but against rebels, and which should not 
be practiced against a brave garrison, deserving better treatment. 
In reply, he sent his aid-de-camp, with a proposition for us to surren- 
der, coupled with the threat that if we did not accept within half an 
hour, he would resume hostilities. 

" M. Pouchot received the officer, and read what Amherst demanded 
before all the ofHeers of the gai-rison, who made Ihe most urgent en- 
treaties for him to accept them, in view of the impossibility of escap- 
ing a general conflagration in case of fire, on account of the small 
capacity of the fort and the incumbrance of the ruins. There 
remained at this time on the front attacked only two cannon in con- 
dition to fire, and no more balls. The outer batteries of the fort were 
all ruined, as they were commanded by the islands, as were also the 
epaulements of the intrenchments, which were no cover against an 

"On the 26th, in tbe morning, when the enemy entered they were 
greatly surprised a.t seeing only a few soldiers scattered around at 
their posts, and some sixty militia, in their shirt-pleeves, with hand- 
kerchiefs on their heads, and with necks bare in the Canadian fashion. 
They asked itf . Pouchot where was his garrison ? He replied that 
(hey saw the whole. We had more than sixty men killed and wounded. 
All the officers were more or less wounded. 

" The enemy admitted that in their passage to encamp, a carcassiero 
had been sunk, and that six bateaux were shot through, including the 
one occupied by General Amherst, who had watched the operations 
attentively. The general politely reproached M. Pouchot, who an- 
swered : ^Sir, we only wanted to pay you the honors to which you 
were entitled.' 

" The English had 128 men killed and wounded on the ' Oneida,' 
which was grounded. Upon the ' Mohawk' the captain was wounded, 
and fifty men disabled. Upon the ' Outaouaise,' which they had taken 
from us, fifty-four men; and on the dilferent occasions in which they 
had approached the fort, a hundred more. To these should be added 
what they lost in their batteries and trenches, which they never 
would confess.* 

"The surrender being made, several officers came to conduct M. 
Pouchet to General Amherst. They showed him a thousand atten- 
tions. He had seen some of them at Niagara and New York. They 
feared that the Indians, who were very threatening, and who were 
disappointed in finding nothing in the fort, which the soldiers had 
pillaged, might wish to do some harm. He thanked them for their 

'* Having landed on the shore, many Indians came to see M. 
Pouchot, who recognized several of their chiefs. He said to them; 
'You have killed your father; if they are not people of courage, so 
much the worse for you.* They replied: 'Don't be disheartened, 
father; you will go to the other side of the great lake; we will soon 
rid ourselves of the English.' They were surprised to see him so 

" General Amherst held a conversation for an hour with M. Pouchot 
in private. 

" He wished information as to what remained to be done in the cam- 
paign. It may be presumed that the latter did not make him think 
he had an easy task. He, in common with the whole army, appeared 
to dread the passage of the rapids. They took among the Canadians 
thirty-six guides for their bateaux. The garrison and officers wore 
conducted by way of Oswego to New York. M. Belle-Garde, Sul- 
pician missionary at La Presentation, who had chosen to be shut up 
in the fort to serve the wounded, obtained leave to go down to Mon- 

~ The English changed the name of the fort to Ftirt William 
Aiiguttun, and left a garrison of 200 men under Capt. Osborne. 

treal with two or three women. This priest was very worthy on 
account of his zeal for religion, which had led him to Canada for the 
sole purpose of converting the Indians. The English sent him baek 
to his mission. f The Bnglish army remained about fifteen days 
making arrangements to go down the river, but notwithstanding 
their guides, of whom some perhaps sought the worst channels, they 
lost eighty bateaux and their carcasaieres at Coteau du Lac." 

Fort Levis was the last stronghold of the French in 
North America. They had possessed the whole vast region 
lyino- north of the St. Lawrence, except a small tract in the 
vicinity of Hudson's Bay, and with the exception of three 
years, — from 1629 to 1632, — from their first discoveries, 
made by Jacques Cartier, Roberval, and Champlain, begin- 
ning in 1535, until 1760, a period of two hundred and 
twenty-five years, during which their posts and missions 
were established from the mouth of the great river to the 
western borders of the great lakes. At times the able com- 
manders which France sent over had threatened the very 
existence of the English colonies, but from the year 1758, 
when Fort Frontenac was destroyed by Bradstreet, fortune 
had gradually deserted them, and with the death of the 
Marquis de Montcalm and the fall of Quebec all hopes of a 
successful defense against the overwhelming armies of the 
English had departed ; nevertheless, a most gallant defense 
was made, and there was no loss of honor to the arms of 
France when the last feeble garrison surrendered, and the 
flag of France was furled to wave no more over the noble 
St. Lawrence forever. 

According to Knox, the total efifective force of Canada 
at the time of the surrender, including militia, was 20,433. 
About 3000 soldiers and sailors were sent to France. 

In concluding the history of the siege of Fort Levis, we 
insei't the following items from the English accounts, which 
vary somewhat from that of the French commander. Per- 
haps a fair estimate would be arrived at by adopting a mean 
between the two extremes. 

It would seem that the fitting out of war-parties from 
La Presentation, which proved so harassing to the Bnglish 
settlements along the Mohawk during the years 1758-9, had 
determined the English authorities to send an expedition to 
put a stop to their depredations, and Brigadier-General Gage 
was instructed to take post at La Galette, and cany out this 
important project ; but for some reason this was never done, 
and the place remained undisturbed until the advance of 
General Amherst's army in 1760. 

The French fortress at Quebec was reduced by the 
English army under the command of General Wolfe in 

The various French posts in the interior still remained, 
and to complete the conquest three expeditions were fitted 
out early in the season of 1760. One of these ascended 
the St. Lawrence from Quebec, another proceeded towards 
Montreal by way of Lake Champlain, and the third, under 
Sir Jeffrey Amherst, proceeded by way of Oswego, and 
down the St, Lawrence, encountering in its way the strong 
fortress on Isle Royal, which he reduced. The details of 

t There were two priests named La Garde in Canada at this time! 
Joan Pierre Bosson do la Garde arrived in 1760, and died April H, 
1790. Pierre Paul Frs de la Garde arrived in 1765, and died at Mon- 
treal, April 4, l1U.-Li,te 01,,-onologique. The latter was with 
Pouchot at the siege.— JVofe hi Dr. Hough's Trauslation 



this event, as related by Mante, a historian of that war, are 
here given : 

" The necessary preparations having been matie to bring the whole 
power of the British forces in North America against Montreal, in 
order to finish by its reduction the war in this part of the world ; and 
the season being sufficiently advanced to enable Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 
the commander-in-chief, to commence his part of the operations, he 
embarked at New York on the 3d 'of May, and proceeded to Sche- 
nectady. From thence, with a part of his array, he pursued his route 
to Oswego, where he encamped on the 9th of July. The remainder 
he ordered to follow with the greatest diligence, under the command 
of Brigadier G-age.- On the Nth two vessels hove in sight on Lake 
Ontario, which proving to be those that had been fitted out at Ni- 
agara, under the command of Captain Loring, boats wore immedi- 
ately dispatched to him, with orders t6 look out for and attack the 
Ercneh vessels cruising on the lake. On the 20th two more vessels 
appeared, and proving to be the French vessels which had escaped 
Captain Loring's vigilance, a small boat was immediately dispatched 
to cruise for him, with an account of this discovery ; and at thesame 
time to prevent his bein^ obliged to return to Oswego for want of 
provisions, the general ordered Captain Willyamoz, with a detach- 
ment of one hundred and thirty men, in twelve boats, to take post 
on the Isle-Aux-Iroquois, and supply Captain Loring with everything 
he might want. On the 22d, Brigadier Gage arrived with the rear of 
the army; as did Sir William Johnson on the 23d, with a party of 

" On the 24:th the general received intelligence that tiie French ves- 
sels had escaped into the river St. Lawrence, and tliat Captain Loring 
was returning with the 'Onondaga' and the ' Mohawk,' of eighteen 

■ " On the 5th of August the igeneral ordered the army to be in readi- 
ness to embark. It cbnsisted of the following troops : The fi-rst and 
Second battalion of Royal Highlanders, 42d regiment, 44th, 46th, 
55th, fourth battalion of the 60th, Royal Americans, eight companies 
of the 77th, five of the 80th, five hundred and ninety-seven grenadiers, 
one hundred and "forty-six rangers, Gage's Light Infantry, three 
battalions of the New York regiment, Colonel Le Roux, New Jersey 
regiment. Colonel Schuyler, and four battalions of the Connecticut 
regiment, and one hundred and forty-seven of the Royal Artillery, 
under Colonel Williamson,- amounting in tlie whole to ten thousand 
one hundred and forty-two effective men, oflScers included. Among 
the American officers were Colonels Schuyler, Wooster, Lyman, Fitch, 
Whiting, and probably Israel Putnam. 

" The Indians, under Sir William Johnson, were seven hundred and 

"On the 7th, Captain Loring sailed with his two vessels, and imme- 
diately after thfe first battalion of Royal Highlanders, the grenadiers 
Of the army, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Massey, with Captain 
Campbell, of the 42d, to assist him as major, the light infantry, com- 
manded by Lieutenant-Colonel Amherst, with Captain Delancey as 
major to assist him, with Ogden's and Whyte's companies of rangers, 
the whole under the command of Colonel Haldiman, embarked and 
sailed to take post at the entrance of the river St. Lawrence. 

"On the 10th the general himself embarked with the Royal Artillery, 
the regulars, Sir William Johnson, and a part of his Indians, in boats 
and whale-boats; but the wind being very high and the water of the 
lake very rough, they were forced to make for a small creek, at whose 
entrance there isa very dangerous bar, on which one of the artillery 
boats was lost. The next day, the weather being a little more mod- 
erate, the general at noon proceeded for the river De la Motte, and 
on the 12th was joined by Brigadier Gage, with the provincials, in a 
bay, where the enemy had lately encamped. On the 13th the whole 
embarked, and that very day encamped with Colonel Haldiman, at 
the -post which he had taken at the head of the river St. Lawrence. 
Captain Loring, with his two vessels, having mistaken the channel 
from the lake to the river. St. Lawrence, the arniy passed him while 
he was endeavoring to extricate himself. On the 13th the whole 
army gained Point de Baril, in the neighborhood of the post called 
La Gallettd, which Brigadier Gage was ordered to destroy the pre- 
ceding year. Here the enemy had a very good dock, in which they 
built their vessels. 

" The grenadiers and light infantry, with the row-galleys, took post 
that day without halting at Oswegatchie/a few miles below Point au 
BaTil. - ■ . 


" All this while one of the enemy's vessels kept hovering about the 
nrniy, and, as Captain Loring had not yet got into the right channel, 
it became necessary, for the safety of the army, cither to compel this 
vessel to retire or to take her. 

"The general was therefore obliged to order Colonel Williamson, 
with the row-galleys well manned, to do one or the other. On the 17th 
the galleys advanced with the utmost intrepidity, under a heavy fire 
from the enemy, but it did not in the least dampen the ardor of the 
assailants; their fire was retiit'ned with such resolution and bravery 
that after a severe contest of almost four hotirs the French vessel 
struck her colors. She mounted ten twblve-pounders, and had on 
board one hundred men, twelve of whom were killed or wounded. 
The general immediately named the vcsSel the 'Williamson,' in 
honor of the colonel, and to perpetuate the memory of so gallant an 
action. The same day the army proceeded to Oswegatchie, from 
whence it was necessary to I'econnoitre Isle Royal, so that it was noon 
the next day before the army could proceed. 

" Fort Levis stood on this island, which was otherwise strongly for- 
tified. Though the reduction of Fort Levis could be of little service 
merely as a fort, yet it was certainly of too much eonseqacnce to bp 
left in the rear of an array; besides, the number of pilots perfectly 
acquainted with the navigation of the river St. Lawrence, which the 
making of the garrison prisoners would afford, was alone a sufficient 
motive for attacking it. It was therefore invested that very evening. 
Whilst the English were passing the point the French kept up a very 
smart cannonade upon them, and destroyed one of the row-galleys and 
a few boats, and killed two or three men; but, notwithstanding this 
fire, and an uninterrupted continuance of it, the fort was so completely 
invested by the 20th, by the masterly disposition of the troops, as to 
make it impossible for the garrison to escape. 

" Captain Loring had arrived the day before, with his two vessels 
and the 'Williamson' brig, and the batteries being now ready, the 
general, on the 23d, determined to assault the fort, that as little time 
as possible might be wasted on it. lie therefore ordered the vessels 
to fall down the stream, post themselves as close to the fort as possi- 
ble, and man their tops well, in order to fall upon the enemy and 
prevent their making use of their guns; whilst the grenadiers rowed 
in with their broadswords and tomahawks, fascines and scaling-lad- 
ders, under cover of three hundred of the light infantry, who were to 
fire into the embrasures. 

'' The grenadiers received their orders with a cheerfulness that 
might be regarded as a sure omen of success; and, with their usual 
alacrity, prepared for the attack, waiting in their shirts till the ships 
could take their proper stations. 

"This the 'Williamson' brig, commanded by Lieutenant Sinclair, 
and the * Mohawk,' by Lieutenant Phipps, soon did; and both sus- 
tained and returned a, very heavy fire. But the ' Onondaga,' in 
which was Captain Loring, by some extraordinary blunder, ran 
aground. The enemy, discovering his distress, plied her with such 
unceasing showers of great and small arms that Captain Loring 
thought proper to strike his colors, and sent Thornton, his master, 
on shore to the enemy, who endeavored to take possession of the 
vessel; but by Colonel Williamson's observing it, he turned upon 
them a battery, which obliged them to desist from the undertaking. 
The general then ordered Lieutenant Sinclair from the ' \Yilliamson' 
brig, and Lieutenant Pennington, with two detachments of grenadiers 
under their command, to take possession of the 'Onondaga,' and 
they obeyed their orders with such undaunted resolution that the 
English colors were again hoisted on board of her. But the vessel 
after all could not be got off, and was therefore abandoned about 
midnight. The English batteries, however, put a stop to any further 
attempt of the enemy to board her. Captain Loring being wounded, 
was in the mean time sent ashore. This accident of the 'Onondaga's* 
running aground, obliged the general to defer for the present his plan 
of assault; but this delay proved rather a fortunate event, as it ^aved 
a good deal of blood, for on the 25th, M. Pouchot, the commandant, 
beat a parley, demanding what terms he might expect; to which no 
answer was returned, but that the fort must be immediately given up, 
and the garrison surrendered prisoners of war, and but ten minutes 
were given for a reply.* 

-This is a preposterous statement. Any one who has seen the St. 
Lawrence at this point knows that no boat could go and return in ten 
minutes from the fort to the hcadqLuarters of the English commander. 
The half-hour given by Pouchot is undoubtedly nearer the truth. 



" These terms were received wilhin the ten minutes; and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Massey with the grenadiers, immediately took possession of 
the place. 

" The loss of the English before it was twenty-one killed and nine- 
teen wounded.* 

" The first shot from the English battery killed the French officer 
of artillery. Eleven more were killed afterwards, and about forty 
wounded. The garrison, and all of the pilots, for the sake of whom 
chiefly the place had been attacked, were sent to New York; and the 
general named the fort Fokt William AuGUSTUS-f 

" On the surrender of Fort Levis, the Indians following the English 
army prepared, agreeably to their bloody custom when at war, to 
enter the fort in order to tomahawk and massacre the garrison. But 
General Amherst, being apprised of their intentions, immediately 
sent orders to Sir William Johnson to persuade them, if possible, to 
desist, declaring at the same time that, if they offered to enter the 
fort, he would compel them to retire. The stores be promised should 
be delivered to them, as his army was not in want of what few 
blankets might be found there. This message had its desired etfect. 
The Indians, though with great apparent reluctance and ill humor, 
were prevailed on to return to their camp ; however, their resentment 
increased to such a degree, that Sir William Johnson informed the 
general he was apprehensive they would quit the army, and return 
to their respective villages and castles. The general replied: 'That 
he believed his army fully sufficient for the service he was going upon, 
without their assistance; that, though he wished to preserve their 
friendship, he could not prevail on himself to purchase it at the ex- 
pense of countenancing the horrid barbarities they wanted to perpe- 
trate; and added, that, if they quitted the army, and on their return 
should commit any acts of cruelty, he should assuredly chastise them.' 
Upon this most of these creatures, who amounted to about seven 
hundred, abandoned Sir William Johnson and returned to their re- 
spective villages and castles, but without committing the least vio- 
leoce; the faithful few, in number about one hundred and seventy, 
who continued with the army, were afterwards distinguished by medals 
which the general gave them, that they might be known at the Eng- 
lish posts, and receive the civil treatment their humanity and their 
affection for the English entitled them to. 

" If the French plan of policy had admitted of similar exertions of 

*This statement of the English loss is evidently as much below 
the fact as Pouchot's is above, and the number given as wounded in 
proportion to the killed, is not reasonable. 

f The surrender of Isle Royal was announced by the following 
proclamation of Governor Golden : 
" By the Hon. Oadwallader Gulden, Esquire, President of his Majesty's Council, 


and Commander-in-chief of the Province of New York, and the terri- 
tories depending thereon in Americii, 


" Wftereas, His Majesty's forces, under the immediate command of His Excel- 
lency Geiieriil Amherst, have late-ly reduced the fortress and works erected by 
tlie enemy on an island in the St, Lawrence, called by the French Isle Eoyal, 
a few miles below Oswegatcliie, an Indian settlement with a block-house fort, 
which the enemy had before aliandoned, from whence the inhabitants of this 
province, situated on the Mohawk river, have been so much annoyed l)y parties 
sent to harass and disturb them that they were kept in constant alarm, and 
many, under strong apprehensions of theirdangcT, abandoned theirsettlements. 
And whereas, liy this important acqni>,ilion, the people alongthe Mohawk river 
will for tlie futurs lemain quiet in their possc8>ions, and as the improvement 
of the settlements there, and the cultivation of the adjacent uncleared country, 
cannot but prove of the greatest advantage to the province, the general, by 
his letter to me, dated lielow, the Isle Eoyale, the 2Clh ultimo, hath recom- 
mended that I would invito the inhabitants thereto, and assure them of a 
peaceable abode in their habitation. I have heretofore thought fit with the 
advice of liis majesty's council to issue this proclamation, hereby inviting the 
persons who, through fear of the incursions of the enemy on that side, Itave 
left their settlements, to return to tlieir fanns, where they may now reap the 
fruit of their industry, in the utmost security ; and, as a further encouragement 
to otliers to become settlers in that part of tlio country, I do promise his 
majesty's grant of any of the vacant lands there to sucli pcrs6n8 as fhall apply 
for the same, on the usual terms, and on condition of immediate settlemenls 
of the tiucts that shall bo so appropriated. 

"Given under my hand and seal at arms, in Fort George, in the city of Now 
York, the fourth day of September, 1760, in the thirty-foui th year of the reign 
of our sovereign. Lord George the Second, by tlte grace of Gud'of Great Britain 
Franco and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth. ' 

" Cadwa],lader Colden. 
"By His Honor's command, G. W. Banyab, D. Sec'y. 
" God Save the iiiNG." 

humanity towards their prisoners, there is no doubt but they might 
thereby have equally prevented the commission of acts which, even 
had they conquered, would have been sufficient to sully the glory of 
their greatest achievements. 

" Till the 3flth, the army was emph>yed in leveling the batteries and 
repairing boats and rafts for the artillery, which was now embarked 
with the necessary stores ; and on the 31st the general, with the first 
division of the army, consisting of the artillery, the grenadiers, and 
the light infantry, the 44th and 56th regiments, the 4th battalion of 
Royal Americans, and three regiments of provincials, embarked about 
noon, and in the evening reached the Isle-Aux-Chats [opposite 
Louisville landing], having passed the first rapids. On the 1st of 
September, they proceeded about ten miles farther, and encamped. 
On the 2d, Brigadier Gage, with the other division, joined the gen- 
eral, having lost three Highlanders in going over the falls. The 
whole now proceeded together, entered Lake St. Francis, and that 
very evening reached Pointe-Aux-Boudets, where, the weather being 
extremely bad, the general halted. 

' ' On the 3d, a prisoner was brought in, who gave intelligence that 
Colonel Haviland had taken possession of the Isle-Aux-Noix, the 
enemy having abandoned it on his approach. 

" The navigation of the river St. Lawrence is in this place, perhaps, 
the most intricate and dangerous of any actually used in North 
America, without the assistance of pilots accustomed to the force and 
direction of its various eddies. Though the French have been con- 
stantly going up and down the river ever since their possession of 
Canada, General Amherst's attempt to navigate it in the manner he 
did was judged impracticable. No doubt the route by Lake George 
and Lake Champlain might have been the easiest to penetrate by 
into Canada ; but this by the Mohawk river, Oswego, and the river • 
St. Lawrence opened a passage which had as yet been unexplored by 
the English, and effectually deprived the French of the opportunity 
of carrying on the war another campaign by retreating to their un- 
conquered posts at Detroit and elsewhere to the south. Those who 
declared the river impracticable to the English, grounded their opinion 
on the unsuccessfulness of the attempt made on La Galette the pre- 
ceding year by General Gage; not considering the difference between 
a feeble, irresolute effort, and a strong, determined stroke. 

" The pilots taken at Fort Levis contributed much to the safety of 
the army in this navigation, or it would have been equally tedious. 

** The chief art of getting through these rapids with a number of 
boats consists in the making them keep a proper distance. Without 
the greatest attention to this precaution the lives of those who pass 
the Cedar Falls, especially, must be in the utmost danger. 

" It must be confessed that the appearance of broken rocks and in- 
accessible islands, interspersed in the current of a rapid river, and 
the foaming surges rebounding from them, without a direct channel 
to discharge itself by, presents a scene of horror unknown in Europe; 
yet the mind by degrees soon loses the sensation of terror, and he- 
comes free enough to direct the actions of the body. 

" On the 4th of September the general put the army in motion, and 
it soon cleared the Lake St. Francis and entered a country lately 
well inhabited, but now a mere desert. About noon the van of the 
army entered the Cedar Falls. 

" This, as we have already hinted, is by far tho most dangerous part 
of the whole river, and had tho boats crowded too close upon each 
other most of them must have perished. 

•' Accordingly, for the want of sufficient precaution, twenty-nine 
boats belonging to the regiments, seventeen whale-boats, seventeen 
artillery- boats, and one row-galley were dashed to pieces, with tho loss 
of eighty-eight men ; and this too before, on account of the night'a 
approaching, the whole of the army could get through ; what did 
encamped on tho Isle-Perrot. On the 5th, in the morning, the re- 
mainder, taking care to preserve a proper distance, passed tho rapid 
with ease. During tho stay tho general was obliged to make to repoir. 
the damaged boats the inhabitants came flocking in, and took the 
oath of allegiance to his Britannic Majesty. 

" Humanity and clemency ever attended on the victories of tho 
Romans ; the princes and tho people who submitted to their arms 
were sure of protection ; and those who dared to oppose them were 
made to feel the weight of their greatness and power. 

" True policy might alone be thought sufficient, especially after snob 
an illustrious example, to make the generals of every nation adopt 
such conciliating measures. It would have been justly a matter of 
surprise if, from the natural feelings of his own heart, independent 



of any other motiye, General Amherst had neglected to stretch forth 
the hand of ooiumiseratiou to the number of trembling, despairing 
wretches who now appeared before him. The blood that had been 
shed in the wantonness of cruelty had expunged from their breasts 
every hope of meroy; and they advanced like culprits approaching 
a, judge to receive the sentence due to their crimes. 

" Full as they were of conscious guilt, how great must have been 
their joy to find themselves forgiven, restored to their possessions 
and to their families ; to be received as friends, and have every neces- 
sary provided for them as such, and to crown all, to know for certain 
that they might securely depend on a continuance, or rather an in- 
crease, of these blessings." 


Two personages connected with the history of La Pre- 
sentation and Fort Levis deserve particular mention here 
from their prominence, and the fact that one was the 
original founder of the mission where now stands the flour- 
ishing city of Ogdensburg, and the other the gallant com- 
mander of the last fortress held by the French in America. 
These are Father Picquet and M. Pouchot. We will begin 
with the latter. The facts are from his memoirs, translated 
by Dr. F. B. Hough. 

M. Pouchot was born at Grenoble, in 1712. His wor- 
thy father died when he was young, and his mother soon 
married again. The young Pouchot entered the military 
service as a volunteer engineer in 1733. The next year he 
was transferred to the famous regiment of Beam, in which 
he continued to study the art of Cohorn and Vauban. 
His genius attracted the attention of M. de Blaillebois, who 
assisted him, and was instrumental in placing him under 
the direction of M. Bourcet, who employed him upon the 
intrenehments of Borgo-Forte and of Mount Baldo, two 
strong posts in Corsica, then at war with the Genoese. M. 
Pouchot served with distinction in the various campaigns 
of the French army in Italy, Flanders, and Germany. In 
1744 he was charged by the government with examining 
the route into the Tyrol, and in preparing a map, which he 
accompanied with a memoir. He had subsequently the 
charge of the intrenched camp at Tournai, under the orders 
of M. de Villemur. These services obtained him the rank 
of captain by brevet and the cross of St. Louis. Upon the 
breaking out of the war in America M. Pouchot was sent 
with his regiment to the St. Lawrence. His services in 
America were many and remarkable. His first work was 
upon the fort at Frontenac, which he thoroughly refitted 
and made almost impregnable. In October, 1755, he was 
put in command of the post at Niagara, which he also re- 
built in the best manner during the winter of 175.5-50. 
He was present at the siege and capture of Oswego by the 
Marquis Montcalm,* in August, 1756, and the result of 
the expedition was in no small degree owing to his superior 
placing and handling of the French batteries after the death 
of M. Descombles, the chief engineer. 

After the capture of Oswego M, Pouchot was employed 
by Montcalm to open a road from La Prairie towards Lake 
Champlain, and subsequently in working upon the fortifi- 
cations of Fort Carrillon, now known as Ticonderoga. In 
September of that year (1756) he returned with a portion 
of his regiment to Niagara, where he labored diligently to 
complete a strong work. During the succeeding winter he 

* Louis Joseph, Marquis dcMontcilm dc Saint Veron, born lfl2. 

was employed in strengthening the works. At this post he 
was very successful in gaining the confidence of the Indians, 
and in attaching them to the French interests. 

In August, 1757, Montcalm captured Fort William 
Henry, at the southern extremity of Lake George, which 
event spread consternation far and wide among the English 
colonies, and led to most determined efforts on the part of 
the English government to drive back the French from 
their strongholds upon Lake Champlain and along the 
northern frontier. 

In October M. Pouchot was relieved from the command 
of Niagara, and returned to Montreal. On the 7th of July, 
1758, he joined Montcalm at Fort Carillon, and took part 
in the great battle fought on the 8th, between the French 
army, consisting of about 3000 men in their intrenehments, 
and the Anglo-American army, amounting, according to 
English accounts, to 15,391 men, but estimated by the 
French at 22,000. 

The French regiments which fought in this action were 
those of B^arn, Sarre, Languedoc, Berri, Guienne, the 
Queen's, and the Royal Roussillon. The English were de- 
feated with terrible loss, and retreated with the greatest 
precipitation. This battle ruined the reputation of Sir 
Ralph Abercrombie, the commander of the English army, 
while it correspondingly added to that of the Marquis de 
Montcalm, undoubtedly the ablest commander the French 
ever had in America. 

In the fall of 1758, M. Pouchot was employed, along 
with the Chevalier de Levis, in selecting the best points for 
erecting fortifications for tlie defense of Canada, which the 
English were threatening. In March, 1759, M. Pouchot 
was again ordered to take command of Niagara, where, in 
July following, he sustained a memorable siege by Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson during fifteen days, defending the place until 
it was completely ruined and untenable, when he was forced 
to surrender, as the defeat of M. d' Aubrey, who was ap- 
proaching for the relief of the place, destroyed all hope of 
succor. During the operations the garrison, which origi- 
nally consisted of 525 men, including laborers, had 109 men 
killed and wounded. 

In November, M. Pouchot was exchanged, and arrived 
in Montreal on New Year's eve. He had met General 
Amherst at Saratoga, on his way north, and the English 
commander had intrusted letters in his care to the French 
commander in Canada. 

In March, 1760, just one year from the time he had 
taken command of Niagara, he was placed in command of 
the new Fort Levis on Oraconenton island, where he sus- 
tained another and most remarkable siege, in August fol- 
lowing, defending his post to the last, and only surrendering 
when further resistance was useless. Upon his return to 
France after the surrender of Canada, he experienced the 
fate of many a brave defender of his country, through the 
misrepresentations and calumnies of insidious enemies, who 
envied him the honors and emoluments that were justly his 
due. Charges were preferred against the gallant soldier, 
and he was ordered to be thrown into the Bastile. Upon 
hearing of these proceedings he presented himself at once 
to the minister of war, and said, " I have come from Canada, 
where I have a thousand times exposed my life for the in- 



terests of my country. Her enemies offered me employ- 
ment, money, and an advantageous position, but I rejected 
their offers. The loss of my patrimony is all the fruit left 
me for my labors and my services. What do you want ? 
Of V7hat do they accuse me?" 

After the battle of Carillon the Marquis Montcalm 
recommended him for a brevet lieutenant- colonel's position, 
but instead he only received a very moderate pension. 
" The man so distinguished in that memorable combat, and 
who afterwards defended with such valor Forts Niagara and 
Levis, could not break down the barriers which separated 
the employed subalterns from the superior grades, an ob- 
stacle over which intrigue would triumph without difficulty." 
He soon after returned to Grenoble, and, when the difficul- 
ties broke out in Corsica, entered the service of the govern- 
ment, and was killed on a reconnoitering expedition May 8, 
1769, in his fifty-seventh year, a gallant soldier to the last. 


The memoirs of Father Picquet have been written by M. 
de la Lande, a celebrated astronomer of the Academie des 
Sciences, and are published in the fourteenth volume of a 
work entitled, " Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses'' (Lyons 
edition, 1819, p. 262, et seq.), from which an abridged 
translation is published in the Documentary History of 
New York, from which, and from the original esssay, we 
derive the following : 

" A missionary, remarkable for his zeal, and the services 
which he has rendered to the church and the state, born in 
the same village as myself, and with whom I have enjoyed 
terms of particular intimacy, has given to me a relation of 
his labors, and I have thought that this notice deserved to 
find a place in the Lettres Edifiantes, having exactly the 
same object as the other articles in that collection, and I 
flatter myself that I shall be able to render au honorable 
testimony to the memory of a compatriot, and of a friend 
so amiable as M. I'Abbe Picquet. 

" Frangois Picquet, doctor of the Sorbonne, King's Mis- 
sionary and Prefect Apostolic to Canada, was born at Bourg, 
in Bresse, on the 6th Dec, 1708. The ceremonials of the 
church, from his infancy, were to him so engaging, that 
they seemed to announce his vocation. 

" The good instruction which he received from an estima- 
ble father, seconded by a happy disposition, enabled him to 
accomplish his earlier studies with the approbation of all 
his superiors and of his professors, although, in the dissipa- 
tion and folly of youth, he was relieved by occupations al- 
together foreign to his studies. M. Picquet, in fact, loved 
to test his abilities in various ways, and in this he suc- 
ceeded ; but his first pastimes had announced his first pref- 
erences, and the church was his principal delight. 

" As early as the seventeenth year of his age, he suc- 
cessfully commenced the functions of a missionary in his 
country, and at twenty years, the Bishop of Sinope, Suffra- 
gan of the diocese of Lyons, gave him, by a flattering ex- 
ception, permission to preach in all the parishes of Bresse 
and Franche-Comte which depended on his diocese. The 
enthusiasm of his new state rendered him desirous to go to 
Rome, but the Archbishop of Lyons advised him to study 
theology at Paris. He followed this advice, and entered 

the congregation of St. Sulpioe. The direction of the new 
converts was soon proposed to him; but the-activity of his 
zeal induced him to seek a wider field, and led him beyond 
the seas, in 1733, to the missions of North America, where 
he remained thirty years, and where his constitution, invig- 
orated by labor, acquired a force and vigor which secured 
for him a robust health to the end of his life. 

" After having for some time labored at Montreal, in 
common with other missionaries, he desired to undertake 
some new enterprise, by which France might profit by re- 
storing peace to our vast colonies. 

" About 1740, he established himself at the Lake of Two 
Mountains,* to the north of Montreal, to draw the Algon- 
quins, the JVipissings, and the savages of the Lake Temis- 
caming to the head of the colony, and upon the route of all 
the nations of the north, which descend by the great river 
of Michilimakina, to Lake Huron. 

" There had been an ancient mission upon the Lake of 
Two Mountains, but it had been abandoned. M. Picquet 
took advantage of the peace which the country then enjoyed, 
in constructing a stone fort. This fort commanded the vil- 
lages of the four nations, which composed the mission of 
the lake. He next caused a palisade to be built around 
each of the villages, of cedar posts, flanked by good re- 
doubts. The king defrayed half of this expense; the 
missionaries incurred the rest by labor. 

" He there fixed the two nomadic nations of the Algon- 
quins and the Nipissings, and caused them to build a fine 
village, and to sow and reap, a thing before regarded as next 
to impossible. These two nations, in the event, were first 
to give succor to the French. The pleasure which they 
experienced in this establishment attached them to France 
and the king, in whose name M. Picquet procured them 
assistance in money, in provisions, and all that the wants 
of these two nations required. 

" He there erected a Calvary, which was the finest monu- 
ment of religion in Canada, by the grandeur of the crosses 
which were planted upon the summit of one of the two 
mountains, by the different chapels and the different 
oratories, all alike built of stone, arched, ornamented with 
pictures, and distributed in stations for the space of threer 
quarters of a league. 

" He here endeavored to gain an exact understanding 
with all the northern tribes, by means of the Algonqidns 
and the Nipisdngs, and with those of the south and west, 
by means of the Iroquois and the Ilurons. His negotia^. 
tions resulted so well that he annually, at the feast of the 
Passover and the Pentecost, baptized to the faith thirty to 
forty adults. 

" When the savage hunters had passed eight months in 
the woods, they remained a month in the village, which 
made it a kind of mission, receiving many each day with 
the two catechisms, and with spiritual conferences. He ^ 
taught them the prayers and the chants of the church, and 
he imposed penances upon those who created any disorder 
A portion were settled and domiciled. 

" Li short, he succeeded beyond all hope in persuading 
these nations to submit entirely to the king, and to render 

* About thirtj-si.v miles northwest of Montreal. 



him the master of their national assemblies, with full liberty 
to make known his intentions and to nominate all their chiefs. 
From the commencement of the War of 1742 his savages 
showed their attachment to France and to the king, whose 
paternal character M. Picquet had announced to them, 
and who was regarded as the beloYed and the idol of the 

■ " M. Picquet was among the first to foresee the war which 
sprang up about 1742 between the English and the French. 
He prepared himself for it a long time beforehand. He 
began by drawing to his mission (at the Lake of the Two 
Mountains) all the , French scattered in the vicinity, to 
strengthen themselves and afford more liberty to the savages. 
These furnished all the necessary detachments ; they were 
continually on the frontiers to spy the enemy's movements. 
M. Picquet learned by one of these detachments that the 
English were making preparations at Sarasto [Saratoga?], 
and were pushing their settlements up to Lake St. Sacra- 
ment.* He informed the general of the circumstance, and 
proposed to him to send a body of troops there, at least to 
intimidate the enemy if we could do no more. The expe- 
dition was formed. M. Picquet accompanied M. Marin, 
who commanded this detachment. They burnt the fort, 
the Lydius establishments,'}" several saw-mills, the phmks, 
boards, and other building timber, the stock of supplies, 
provisions, the herds of cattle along nearly fifteen leagues 
of settlement, and made one hundred and forty-five prisoners, 
without having lost a sitigle, Frenchman or without having 
any even wounded.J This expedition alone prevented tlie 
English undertaking anything at that side during the war. 

" Peace having been re-established in 1748, our mission- 
ary occupied himself with the means of remedying, for the 
future, the inconveniences which he had witnessed. The 
road he saw taken by the savages and other parties of the 
enemy sent by the English against us, caused him to select 
a post which could hereafter intercept the passage of the 
English. He proposed to M. de la Galissoni^re § to make 
a settlement of the mission of La Presentation, near Lake 
Ontario, an ' establishment which succeeded beyond his 
hopes, and has been the most useful of all those of Canada. 

" M. Rouille, minister of the marine, wrote on the 4th 
of May, 1749; 

" ' A large number of Iroquoia having declared that they were de- 
.sirous of embracing Christianity, it has been proposed to establish a 
mission towards Fort Frontenac, in order to attract the greatest num- 
ber possible thither. It is Abbe Picquet, a zealous missionary, and 
in whom' these'nations seem to have confidence, who has been in- 
trusted with this negotiation. He was to have gone last year to select 

* " I am building a fort at this lake, which the French call Lake 
St. Sacrament, but I have given it the name of Lake (leorgo, not 
only in honor to his Majesty, but to ascertain his undoubted domin- 
ion here." — Si7' Wm. Johnaoii to the Board of Trade, Sept. 3, 1775. 
Zond, Doc. xxxii., 178. 

f Now Fort Edward, Washington county. 
. i"I received an account on the 19th inst., by express from Al- 
"bany, that a party of French and their Indians had cut off a settlement 
in this province called Saraghtoge, about fifty miles from Albany, and 
that about twenty houses with a fort (which the public would not re- 
pair) were burned to ashes, thirty persons killed and scalped, and 
about sixty takenprisoners." — Gov. Giinion to the Board, 30(/t Nov., 
\1ib. Loud. Doe. xxvii., 187, 235. 

^ This officer commanded the French force which captured tho 
Island of Minorca from the English in June, 1766. 

a suitable site for the establishment of tho mission, and verify as pre- 
cisely as was possible what can be depended upon relative to the dis,- 
positions of these same nations. In a letter of the 6th of October 
last, Mi de la GalisonnlSre stated that, though an entire confidence 
cannot bo placed in those they have domesticated, it Is, notwithstand- 
ing, of much importance to succeed in dividing them; that nothing must 
be neglected that can contribute to it. It is for this reason that his 
majesty desires you shall prosecute the design of the proposed settle- 
ment. If it could attain a certain success, it would not be difficult then 
to make the savages understand that the only means of extricating 
themselves from the pretensions of the English to them and their 
lands is to destroy Choueguen,|| so as to deprive them thereby of a 
post which they established chiefly with a view to control their tribes. 
This destruction is of such great importance, both as regards our 
possessions and the attachment of the savages and their trade, that 
it is proper to use every means to engage the Iroquoia to undertake 
it. This -is actually the only means that can be employed, but you 
must feel that it requires much prudence and circumspection.' 

" M. Picquet eminently possessed the qualities requisite 
to effect the removal of the English from our neighbor- 
hood. Therefore, the general, the intendant, and the bishop 
deferred absolutely to him in the selection of the settle- 
ment for this new mission ; and, despite the efforts of those 
who had opposite interests, he was intrusted with the un- 

" The fort of La Presentation is situated at 302° 40' 
longitude,^ and at 44° 50' latitude, on the Presentation river, 
which the . Indians named Soegasti; thirty leagues above 
Mont-Real ; fifteen leagues from Lake Ontario or Lake 
Frontenac, which, with Lake Champlain, gives rise to the 
river St. Lawrence ; fifteen leagues west of the source of 
the river Hudson, which tails into the sea at New York. 
Fort Frontenac had been built near there in 1671 [1673] 
to arrest the incursions of the English and the Iroquois j 
the bay served as a port for the mercantile and military 
marine which had been formed there on that sort of sea, 
where the tempests are as frequent and as dangerous as on 
the ocean. But the post of La Presentation appeared still 
more important, because the harbor is very good, the river 
freezes there rarely, the barks can leave with northern, east- 
ern, and southern winds, the lands are excellent, and that 
quarter can be fortified most advantageously. 

" Besides, that mission was adapted by its situation to 
reconcile to us the Iroquois savages of the Five Nations, 
who inhabit between Virginia and Lake Ontario. The 
Marquis of Beauharnois, and afterwards M. de la Jon- 
quiere, governor-general of New France, were very de- 
sirous that we should occupy it, especially at a time when 
English jealousy, irritated by a war of many years, sought 
to alienate from us the tribes of Canada. 

" This establishment was as if the key of the colony, be- 
cause the English, French, and Upper Canada savages could 
not pass elsewhere than under the cannon of Fort Presen- 
tation when coming down from the south ; the Iroquois 
to the south and the Mississngues to the north were within 
its reach. Thus it eventually succeeded in collecting them 
together from over a distance of one hundred leagues. The 
officers, interpreters, and tradei's, notwithstanding, then re- 
garded that establishment as chimerical. Envy and oppo- 
sition had (affected its failure had it not been for the firm- 

II OsVego. 

•[ There is some mistake in these figures. The longitude of this 
place is 75° 30' west from Greenwich, and latitude 41° W north. 



ness of the Abbe Picquet, supported by that of the admin- 
istration. This establishment served to protect, aid, and 
comfort the posts already erected on Lake Ontario. The 
barks and canoes for the transportation of the king's effects 
could be constructed there at a third less expense than else- 
where, because timber is in greater quantity and more ac- 
cessible, especially when M. Picquet had had a saw-mill 
erected there for preparing and manufacturing the timber. 
In fine, he could establish a very important settlement for 
the French colonists, and a point of reunion for Europeans 
and savages, where they would find themselves very conve- 
nient to the hunting and fishing ■ in the upper part of 

" M. Picquet left with a detachment of soldiers, me- 
chanics, and some savages. He placed himself at first in 
as great security as possible against the insults of the 
enemy, which availed him ever since. On the 20th of Oc- 
tober, 1749, he had built a fort of palisades, a house, a 
barn, a stable, a redoubt, and an oven. He had lands 
cleared for the savages. His improvements were estimated 
at thirty to forty thousand livres, but he introduced as 
much judgment as economy. He animated the workmen, 
and they labored from three o'clock in the morning until 
nine at night. As for himself, his disinterestedness was 
extreme. He received at that time neither allowance nor 
presents ; he supported himself by his industry and credit. 
From the king he had but one ration of two pounds of 
bread and one half pound of pork, which made the savages 
say, when they brought him a buck and some partridges, 
' We doubt not, father, but that there have been disagree- 
able expostulations in your stomach, because you have had 
nothing but pork to eat. Here's something to put your 
affairs in order.' The hunters furnished him wherewithal 
to support the Frenchmen and to treat the generals occa- 
sionally. The savages brought him trout weighing as 
many as eighty pounds. 

" When the court had granted him a pension he em- 
ployed it only for the benefit of his establishment. At first 
he had six heads of families in 1749, eighty-seven the year 
following, and three hundred and ninety-six in 1751. All 
these were of the most ancient and most influential fami- 
lies, so that this mission was, from that time, sufficiently 
powerful to attach the Five Nations to us, amounting to 
twenty-five thousand inhabitants, and he reckoned as many 
as three thousand in his colony. By attaching the Iroquois 
cantons to France, and establishing them fully in our in- 
terest, we were certain of having nothing to fear from the 
other savage tribes, and thus a limit could be put to the 
ambition of the English. M. Picquet took considerable 
advantage of the peace to increase that settlement, and he 
carried it in less than four years to the most desirable per- 
fection, despite of the contradictions that he had to combat 
against, the obstacles he had to surmount, the jibes and un- 
becoming jokes which he was obliged to bear; but his 
happiness and glory suffered nothing therefrom. People 
saw with astonishment several villages start up almost at 
once ; a convenient, habitable, and pleasantly-situated fort ; 
vast clearances, covered almost at the same time with the 
finest maize. More than five hundred families, still all in- 
fidels, who congregated there, soon rendered this settlement 

the most beautiful, the most charming, and the most abun^ 
dant of the colony. Depending on it were La Presentation, 
La Galettc, Suegatzi, L'isle au Galop, and L'isle Picquet in 
the river St. Lawrence. There were in the fort seven small 
stone guns and eleven four- to six-pounders. 

" The most distinguished of the Iroquois families were 
distributed at La Presentation in three villages. That which 
adjoined the French fort contained, in 1754, forty-nine 
bark cabins, some of which were from sixty to eighty feet 
long, and accommodated three to four families. The place 
pleased them on account of the abundance of hunting and 
fishing. This mission could no doubt be increased, but 
cleared land sufiicient to allow all the families to plant and 
to aid them to subsist would be necessary, and each tribe 
should have a separate location. 

" M. Picquet had desired that, in order to draw a large 
number, they should clear during a certain time a hun- 
dred arpents of land each year, and build permanent cabins, 
and to surround their village with a palisade ; that they 
should construct a church and a house for seven, or eight 
missionaries. The nations desired it, and it was an effect- 
ual means to establish them permanently. All this he 
could do with fifteen thousand livres a year, and he pro- 
posed to assign them a benefice, as tending to promote re- 
ligion. Meanwhile our missionary applied himself to the 
instruction of the savages, and baptized great numbers. 

" The bishop of Quebec, wishing to witness and assure 
himself personally of the wonders related to him of the 
establishment at La Presentation, went thither in 1749, 
accompanied by some officers, royal interpreters, priests 
from other missions, and several other clergymen, and spent 
ten days examining and causing the catechumens to be ex- 
amined. He himself baptized one hundred and thirty-two, 
and did not cease, during his sojourn, blessing heaven for 
the progress of religion among these infidels. 

" Scarcely where they baptized when M. Picquet de- 
termined to give them a form of government. He es- 
tablished a council of twelve ancients ; chose the most 
influential among the Five Nations ; brought them to Mont- 
Real, where, at the hands of the Marquis du Quesne, they 
took the oath of allegiance to the king, to the great astonish- 
ment of the whole colony, where no person dared to hope 
for such an event. 

" Attentive as well to the good of the administration as 
to the cause of religion, M. Picquet notified the chiefs of 
the colony of the abuses which he witnessed. He made, 
for example, a remonstrance against the establishment of 
traders who had come to locate at the Long Saut and at 
Carillon, to hold traffic and commerce, who cheated the 
savages, and sold them worthless things, at a dear price, 
and hindered them from coming to the mission, where they 
were undeceived, instructed in religion, and attached to 

" In the month of June, 1751, M. Picquet made a voyage 
around Lake Ontario, with a king's canoe and one of bark, 
in which he had five trusty savages, with the design of at- 
tracting some Indian families to the new settlement of La 
Presentation. There is a memoir among his papers on the 
subject, from which it is proposed to give an extract. 

" He visited Fort Frontenac or Caim-ocoMi, situated^welve 



leagues west of La Presentation. He found no Indians 
there, though it was formerly the rendezvous of the Five 
Nations. The bread and milk there were bad ; they had 
not even brandy there to staunch a wound. Arrived at a 
point of Lake Ontario called Kaoi, he found a negro 
fugitive from Virginia. He assured him on this occasion 
that there would be no difficulty to obtain a great part of 
the negroes of New England, who were received well in 
Canada, and supported the first year, and that lands were 
conceded to them as to habitants. The savages served 
them voluntarily as guides. 

" The negroes would be the most terrible enemies of the 
English, because they have no hope of pardon if the Eng- 
lish become masters of Canada, and they contribute much 
to build up this colony by their labor. The same is the 
case with natives of Flanders, Lorraine, and Switzerland, 
who have followed their example, because they were ill at 
ease with the English, who loved them not. 

" At the Bay of Quinte, he visited the site of the ancient 
mission which M. Dollieres de Kleus and Abbe D'Urf^, 
priests of the Saint Sulpice seminary, had established there. 
The quarter is beautiful, but the land is not good. He 
visited Fort Toronto, seventy leagues from Fort Frontenac, 
at the west end of Lake Ontario. He found good bread 
and good wine there, and everything requisite for the trade, 
whilst they were in want of these at all the other posts. 
He found Mississagues there, who flocked around him ; they 
spoke first of the happiness their young people, the women 
and children, would feel, if the king would be as good to 
them as to the Iroqvois, fur whom lie procured missionaries. 
They complained that instead of building a church, they 
had constructed only a canton for them. M. Picquet did 
not allow them to finish, and answered them that they had 
been treated according to their fancy ; that they had never 
evinced the least zeal for religiofi ; that their conduct was 
much opposed to it ; that the Iroquois, on the contrary, 
had manifested their love to Christianity ; but, as he had no 
order/to attract them to his mission, he avoided a more 
lengthy explanation. 

" He passed thence to Niagara. He examined the situa- 
tion of that fort, not having any savages to whom he could 
speak. It is well located for defense, not being commanded 
from any point. The view extends to a great distance ; 
they have the advantage of the landing of all the canoes 
and barks which laud, and are in safety there ; but the rain 
was washing the soil away by degrees, notwithstanding the 
vast expense which the king incurred to sustain it. M. 
Picquet was of opinion that the space between the land 
and the wharf might be filled in so as to support it and 
make a glacis there. This place was important as a trading- 
post, and as securing possession of the carrying-place of 
Niagara and Lake Ontario. 

" From Niagara M. Picquet went to the carrying-place, 
which is six leagues from that post. He visited on the 
same day the famous Fall of Niagara, by which the four 
great Canada lakes discharge themselves into Lake Ontario. 
This cascade is as prodigious by its height and the quantity 
of water which falls there as by the variety of its falls, 
which are to the number of six principal ones divided by 
a small island, leaving three to the north and three to the 

south. They produce of themselves a singular symmetry 
and wonderful efiect. He measured the height of one of 
those falls from the south side, and he found it about one 
hundred and forty feet.* The establishment at this carry- 
ing-place, the most important in a commercial point of view, 
was the worst stocked. The Indians, who came there in 
great numbers, were in the best disposition to trade ; but 
not finding what they wanted, they went to Choueguen or 
Choeguenn [Oswego], at the mouth of the river of the 
same name. M. Picquet counted there as many as fifty 
canoes. There was, notwithstanding, at Niagara, a trading 
house, where the commandant and trader lodged ; but it 
was too small, and the king's property wa.s not safe there. 

" M. Picquet negotiated with the Scnecas, who promised 
to repair to his mission, and gave him twelve children as 
hostages, saying to him that their parents had nothing dearer 
to thorn, and followed him immediately, as well as the chief 
of the Little Rapid, with all his family. 

" The young Indians who accompanied Picquet had 
spoken of this old man as a veritable apostle. M. Picquet 
withdrew with him to say his breviary ; and the savages 
and the Sonnotoans, without losing time, assembled them- 
selves to hold council with M. de Touraine, who addressed 
them for some time at length, and said : 

"'You savages and the Sonnotoans know your firmnes.s in your 
rcsoIutioDSj and know that you have designed to pass by Choeguen 
[Oswego] in returning. Let me request you at once that you attempt 
to do nothing. They are informed of the bad disposition of the Eng- 
lish, whom you regard as the formidable enemy of their colony, and 
as the one that has done them the most harm. They are disposed to 
destroy themselves, rather than that you should suffer the least harm ; 
but all this amounts to nothing, and the savages will always lose by 
the approaches of this people, who hate you. As for myself,' added 
M. de Touraine, ' I entreat you earnestly not to pass that way. The 
Indians have told me nothing more.' 

" M. Picquet immediately replied, — ' Ethonciaouin' (that 
is, ' As you desire, my children'). 

" He set out with all those savages to return to Fort Ni- 
agara. M. Chabert de Joncaire would not abandon him. 
At each place where they encountered camps, cabins, and 
entrepSts, they were saluted with musketry by the In- 
dians, who never ceased testifying their consideration for 
the missionary. M. Picquet took the lead with the sav- 
ages of the hills, Messrs. Joncaire and Rigouille following 
with the recruits. He embarked with thirty-nine savages 
in his large canoe, and was received on arriving at the 
fort with the greatest ceremony, even with the discharge of 
cannon, which greatly pleased the Indians. On the mor- 
row he assembled the Senecas, for the first time, in the 
chapel of the fort, for religious services. 

" M. Picquet returned along the south coast of Lake 
Ontario. Alongside of Choeguen, a young Seneca met her 
uncle, who was coming from his village with his wife and 
children. This young girl spoke so well to her uncle, 
though she had but little knowledge of religion, that he 
promised to repair to La Presentation early the following 
spring, and that ho hoped to gain over also seven other 
cabins of Senecas of which he was chief. Twenty-five 

^'''" These are French feet. The falls on the American side are 164 
feet high. — Burr's Atlas Introd., p. 31. 



leagues from Niagara he visited the river Gascouchagou,* 
where he met a number of rattlesnakes. The young In- 
dians jumped into the midst of them, and killed forty-two 
without having been bitten by any. 

" He next visited the falls of this river. The first which 
appear in sight in ascending resemble much the great cas- 
cade at St. Cloud, except that they have not been orna- 
mented and do not seem so high, but they possess natural 
beauties which render them very curious. The second, a 
quarter of a mile higher, are less considerable, yet are re- 
markable. The third, also a quarter of a league higher, has 
beauties truly admirable by its curtains and falls, which form 
also, as at Niagara, a charming proportion and variety. They 
may be one hundred and some feet high.f In the intervals 
between the falls there are a hundred little cascades, which 
present likewise a ctirious spectacle ; and if the altitudes of 
each chute were joined together, and they made but one as at 
Niagara, the height would, perhaps, be four hundred feet ; 
but there is four times less water than at the Niagara Fall, 
which will cause the latter to pass, forever, as a wonder per- 
haps unique in the world. 

"The English, to throw disorder into this new levy, 
sent a good deal of brandy. Some savages did, in fact, 
get drunk, whom M. Picquet could not bring along. He 
therefore desired much that Choeguen were destroyed and 
the English prevented rebuilding it ; and in order that we 
should be absolutely masters of the south side of Lake On- 
tario, he proposed erecting a fort near there at the bay of 
the CayugaSjJ which would make a very good harbor and 
furnish very fine anchorage. No place is better adapted for 
a fort. 

" He examined attentively the fort of Choeguen, a post 
the most pernicious to France that the English could erect. 
It was commanded almost from all sides, and could be very 
easily approached in time of war. It was a two-gtory 
very low building, decked like a ship, and surmounted on 
the top by a gallery ; the whole was sarrounded by a stone 
wall, flanked only with two bastions at the side towards the 
nearest hill. Two batteries, each of three twelve-pounders, 
would have been more than sufficient to reduce that estab- 
lishment to ashes. It was prejudicial to us by the facility 
it afforded the English of communicating with all the tribes 
of Canada, still more than by the trade carried on there as 
well by the Fi-euch of the colony as by the savages ; for 
Choeguen was supplied with merchandise adapted only to 
the French at least as much as with what suited to the 
savages, a circumstance that indicated an illicit trade. Had 
the minister's orders been executed, the Choeguen trade, at 
least with the savages of Upper Canada, would be almost 
ruined. But it was necessary to supply Niagara, especially 
the Portage, rather than Toronto. The difference between 
the two first of these posts and the last is, that three or 
four hundred canoes could come loaded with furs to the 
Portage, and that no canoes could go to Toronto, except 

« The GoTieseo river. In Belin's map of P^^rtie Occidcntale de la 
Non^elU, Frauce,Mii (No. 992, V. C. State Lib.), it U described as 
=^^^ River unknown to Geographers, filled with Rapids and Water-. 

t The highest fall on the river is 105 feet. 

X Sodus bay. | 

those which cannot pass before Niagara and to Port Pronte-- 
nae, such as the Otaois of the head of the lake (Fond du 
Lac) and the Mississagues ; so that Toronto could not but 
diminish the trade of these two ancient posts, which would 
have been sufficient to stop all the savages had the stores been 
furnished with goods to their liking. There was a wish to. 
imitate the English in the trifles they sold the savages,tsuch 
as silver bracelets, etc. The Indians compared and weighed: 
them, as the storekeeper at Niagara stated, and the Choe- 
guen bracelets, which were found as heavy, of a piirer silver, 
and more elegant, did not cost them two beavers, whilst 
those at the king's posts wanted to sell them for ten beavers. 
Thus we were discredited, and this silver- ware remained a 
pure- loss in the king's stores. French brandy was preferred 
to the English, but that did not prevent the Indians going tO' 
Choeguen. To destroy the trade the king's posts ought to 
have been supplied with the same goods as Cho^guen| and 
at the same price. The French ought also have been for.^ 
bidden to send the domiciliated Indians thither; but that 
' would have been very difficult. 

" M. Picquet next returned to FrOnteaac. Never was s, 
reception more imposing. The Nipissings and Algonquins, 
who were going to war with M. de Bellestre, drew up in a 
line of their own accord above Fort Froriteuac, where three 
standards were hoisted. They fired several volleys of mus-- 
ketry and cheered incessantly. They were answered in the 
same style from all the little craft of bark. M. de Verchere 
and M. de la Valtrie caused the guns of the fort to be dis- 
charged at the same time, and the Indians, transported with' 
joy at the honors paid them, also kept up a continual fire, 
with shouts and acclamations which made every one rejoice. 
The commandants and officers received our missionary at 
the landing. No sooner had he debarked than all the Algon- 
quins and Nipissings of the lake came to embrace him,' 
saying that they had be'en told that the English had af-- 
rested him, and had that news been confirmed they would 
soon have themselves relieved him. Finally, when he re- 
turned to La Presentation, he was received "with thataffection,' 
that tenderness which children would experience in recover- 
ing a father whom they had lost. 

"In 1753, M. Picquet repaired to France to render an: 
account of his labors, and solicit assistance for the benefit 
of the colony. He took with him three natives, the ap- 
pearance of whom might create an interest in the success 
of his establishments, and who, in the quality of hostages, 
might serve to control the mission during his absence.' 
The nations there assembled consented to it, and even ap- 
peared to desire it, as well as the chiefs of the colony. He 
conducted his savages to Paris, and to the court, where they 
were received with so much kindness and attention that they 
said, without ceasing, that could their nations know as well 
as themselves the character and the goodness of the French, 
they would not fail to be otherwise than of the same heart 
and interests with that of France. 

" While M. Picquet was in Paris in 1754, M. Rouill6,: 
then minister of the marine, caused him to draw up sundiy- 
memoirs, especially a general memoir upon Canada,' in 
which he suggested infallible means for preserving this 
colony to France. He also made observations upon the 
disturbances which certain inquiet spirits, rash and bolsters 



ous, had occasioned in Canada. The minister highly ap- 
proved of them, and assured him that he would write to 
the general to prevent in future the recurrence of like dis- 
orders, which could not fail to be pernicious in a colony still 
weak, and too distant from succors should they be necessary. 

" The minister wished to give him a pension of a thou- 
sand crowns, but M. de Laport, the first steward, conferred 
it upon the Abbe Maillard. The minister was displeased, 
while M. Prcquet had only the pleasure of receiving a thou- 
sand crowns, of which in truth the ordinance was conceived 
in terms the most honorable. The king presented him some 
hooks, and when he took his leave the minister said to him, 
' His majesty still gives you new marks of his pleasure.' 

"The king always evinced the same sentiments towards 
him whenever he took occasion to mention him at Ver- 
sailles or at Bellevue. 

" Meanwhile, M. de Laporte was displeased with this 
journey of the Abbe Picquet, because it was leaving the 
other ecclesiastic jealous of the impression which this abb6 
was making with the court and the city. He restrained 
him from continually exhibiting his savages, and attempted 
to justify himself in what he had done. 

" At length he departed, at the close of April, 1754, and 
returned to La Presentation with two missionaries. 

" The sojourn of the three natives in France produced 
a very good eifect among the nations of Canada. 

" War was no sooner declared in 1754, than the new 
children of God, of the king, and of M. Picquet, thought 
only of giving fresh proofs of their fidelity and valor, as 
those of the Lake of the Two Mountains had done in the 
war preceding. The generals were indebted to M. Picquet 
for the destruction of all the forts as well on the river Cor- 
lae (Corlear) as on that of Cboeguen. His Indians dis- 
tinguished themselves especially at Fort George and on 
Lake Ontario, where the warriors of La Presentation alone, 
with their hark canoes, destroyed the English fleet, com- 
manded by Capt. Beccan, who was made prisoner with a 
number, of others, and that in sight of the French army, 
commanded by M. de Villiers, who was at the Isle Galop. 
The war-parties, which departed and returned continually, 
filled the mission with so many prisoners that their numbers 
frequently surpassed that of the warriors, rendering it 
necessary to empty the villages and send them to headquar- 
ters. In fine, a number of other expeditions of which M. 
Picquet was the principal author have procured the promo- 
tion of several ofiicers ; notwithstanding some have declared 
that there were neither honors, nor pensions, nor favors, nor 
promotions, nor marks of distinction, conferred by the king 
upon those who had served in Canada, who were prevented 
from receiving these by M. Picquet. 

" M; du Quesne, on the occasion of the march of General 
Braddock, recommended him to send as large a detachment 
of savages as was possible, and gave him on this occasion 
iull powers. In fact, the exhortations which M. Picquet 
made them to give an example of zeal and courage for the 
king their father, and the instructions which he gave them, 
produced the entire defeat of this general of the enemy in 
the summer of 1755, near Fort du Quesne, upon the Ohio.* 

'^'This is ajUogethoi- problematical. — (Kd.) 

■" This event, which conferred more honor upon the arms 
of the king than all the rest of the war, is due principally to 
the care which M. Picquet bestowed upon the execution of , 
the commands of M. the Marquis du Quesne in this expe-' 
dition, and by the choice which he made of warriors equally 
faithful and intrepid. 

" He frequently found himself in the vanguard when the 
king's troops were ordered to attack the enemy. He dis- 
tinguished himself particularly in the expeditions of Sarasto 
(Saratoga), Lake Champlain, Pointe a la Cheveleure (Crown 
Point), the Cascades, Carillon (Ticonderoga), Choeguen 
(Oswego), River Corlac (Mohawk), Isle au Galop, etc. The 
posts he established for the king protected the colony pend- 
ing the entire war. M. du Quesne said that the Abb6 
Picquet was worth more than ten regiments. 

" He wrote to him on the 23d September, 1754 : ' I shall 
never forget — as a good citizen, I shall remember as long as 
I live — the proofs which you have given me of your gene- 
rosity, and of your unquenchable zeal for all that concerns 
the public good.' 

" On the 9th of June, 1755, M. du Quesne, upon the 
point of departing, sent word to him that the English 
thought of abandoning Niagara. He added : 'The precautions 
to be taken muse all emanate from your zeal, prudence, and 

" The English then endeavored, as well by menaces as by 
promises, to gain the savages, especially after the lesson 
which Du Quesne had given them at the Belle Riviere (the 

" In the month of May, 1756, M. de Vaudreuil got M. 
Picquet to depute the chiefs of his mission to the Five 
Nations of Senecas, Cayugas, Oiiontaques, Tuscaroras, and 
OneiJas, to attach them more and more to the French. The 
English had surprised and killed their nephews in the three 
villages of the Loups (Delawares ?). M. de Vaudreuil re- 
quested him to form parties, which could succeed each other 
in disquieting and harassing the English. He asked of 
him his projects in forming a camp ; he prayed him to give 
a free expression to his ideas, and exhibited on his side the 
greatest confidence, and made him a part of all the opera- 
tions which he proposed to undertake ; and declared that 
the success of his measures was the work of M. Picquet. 

" The letters of M. de Vaudreuil from 1756 to 1759, 
which are among the papers of our missionary, are filled with 
these evidences of his confidence and satisfaction ; but as 
those of M. Picquet are not to be found, it would be diffi- 
cult wherewith to make a history of these events, of which 
alone M. Picquet has the greatest part. 

" In proportion as our circumstances became more 'em- 
barrassing, the zeal of M. Picquet became more precious 
and more active. 

" In 1758 he destroyed the English forts on the banks 
of Corlac, but at length the battle of the 13th of Sept., 
1759, in which the Marquis of Montcalm was killed, brought 
ruin on Quebec, and that of Canada followed. When he 
saw all thus lost, M. Picquet terminated his long and labo- 
rious career by his retreat on the 8th of May, 1760, with 
the advice and consent of the general, the bishop and in- 
tendant, in order not to fall into the hands of the English. 

" The esteem which he had gained by his merit, the 



praises which in an especial manner he had received, might 
have induced him to remain there, but he had resolved never 
to swear allegiance to another power. Inducements were 
held out as motives by many French, by missionaries, and 
by the savages themselves, who proposed to engage him, 
and labored to make him see the advantages that would 

" He still hoped to take with him in his retreat the gren- 
adiers of each battalion, according to the advice of M. the 
Marquis de Levis, to thus preserve the colors and the honor 
of their corps, but of this he was not the master. 

" He had the materials of subsistence abundantly, but 
was obliged to content himself with twenty-five Frenchmen, 
who accompanied him as far as Louisiana ; and he thus 
escaped with them from the English, although he had been 
the most exposed during the war, and although he did not 
receive the least help in so long a journey; but he had with 
him two little detachments of savages, one of which pre- 
ceded him several leagues and the other accompanied him, 
who were successively relieved by similar detachments, as 
he passed through different tribes. 

" Those whom he left he sent each to his own nation, and 
advised them as a father. Everywhere they received him 
admirably, notwithstanding the deplorable circumstances in 
which he was in ; everywhere he found the natives with the 
best dispositions, and he received their protestations of zeal 
and inviolable attachment to the king their father. 

" He passed to Michilimackinac, between Lake Huron and 
Lake Michigan, but the savages, consisting of Iroquois or 
Algonquins, here left him, that M. Picquet might not be 
embarrassed from this cause ;* proceeded thus by way of 
Upper Canada to the Illinois country and Louisiana, and 
sojourned twenty-two months- at New Orleans. 

" Here he occupied himself in recovering his spirits, in 
quelling a sort of civil war which had sprung up between 
the governor and the inhabitants, and in preaching peace, 
both in public" and in private. 

" He had the satisfaction of seeing this happily restored 
during his sojourn. 

" General Amherst, on taking possession of Canada, imme- 
diately informed himself of the place where M. Picquet had 
taken refuge, and upon the assurance which was given him 
that he had departed on his return to France by the west 
he said, haughtily, 'I am mistaken in him, if this abb6 
had not been as faithful to the King of England, had he 
taken the oath of allegiance to him, as he had been to the 
King of France. We would then have given him all our 
confidence, and gained him to ourselves.' 

" This general was mistaken. M. Picquet had an ardent 
love for his country, and he could not have adopted 

" Soon the English would have finished by proscribing 
him and offering a reward for his head, as a dangerous 

" Meanwhile the English themselves have contributed to 
establish the glory and the services of this useful mission- 

» I have much desired to find in his papers his memoirs upon the 
customs of Canada; but I have heard M. Pioijuet say that this subject 
was well treated of in the works of Father Lafitau, who had dwelt 
five years at the Saut St. Louis, near Montreal.— ivr<,(e in the Oi-igiual. 

ary ; we read in one of their gazettes : ' The Jesuit of the 
west has detached all the nations from us, and placed them 
in the interests of France.^ They called him a Jesuit be- 
cause they had not then seen his girdle, nor the buttons of 
his cassock, as M. de Galissoniere wrote to him jocosely, in 
sending him the extract of their gazette ; or, to speak se- 
riously, the zeal of the Jesuits, so well known in the new 
world, makes them believe that out of so great a number of 
missionaries there can be none but Jesuits. They are rep- 
resented as the authors of all the losses of the English, and 
the advantages which the French have gained over them. 
Some even insinuate that they possess supernatural powers. 
In short, our enemies believed themselves lost when they 
were in the army, on account of the horde of savages that 
always attended them. 

" They spoke of nothing but of Picquet, and of his good 
luck; and this became even a proverb throughout the 

" An English ofiScer, having wished to make himself 
conspicuous, once offered a bounty for his head, whereupon 
the savages conspired to seize this English chief; he was 
led into their presence, and they danced around him with 
their tomahawks, awaiting the signal of the missionary, 
who made it not, in his courtesy to an enemy. 

" Thus did he endeavor, by eVery possible means, to act 
neutral, at least between the English and the French. 

" They had recourse to the mediation of the savages, and 
offered to allow him freely to preach the Catholic faith to 
the nations, and even to domiciliated Europeans; to pay 
him two thousand crowns pension, with all the assistance, 
necessary for establishing himself; to ratify the concession 
of Lake Ganenta and its environs, a charming place which 
the six cantons of the Iroquois had presented to M. Pic- 
quet in a most illustrious council which they had held at 
the Chateau of Quebec. The belts, which are the contracts 
of these nations, were deposited at his ancient mission, the 
Lake of Two Mountains, but he constantly declared that 
he preferred the stipend which the king gave him, and that 
all the overtures that could be made and all the advantages 
that could be offered by a foreign power were vain ; that 
the idea of neutrality, under the circumstances, was idle, 
and an outrage upon his fidelity ; in a word, that the 
thought itself was horrible. That he could make his for- 
tunes without them, and that his character was very re- 
mote from this species of cupidity. The services, the 
fidelity, and the disinterestedness of Father Picquet merited 
for him a higher destiny. 

" Likewise the generals, commandants, and the troops 
failed not by military honors to evince their esteem and 
their respect for him in a decisive manner and worthy of 
the nature of his services. He received these honors as 
well from the army as at Quebec, Montreal, Three Rivers, 
and at all the forts which he passed, and even at the Cedars, 
notwithstanding the jealousy of certain menial subjects, such 

as M. de , who had sought to tarnish the glory of the: 

missionary ; but he had been too vindictive in his assaults 
to effect his object. 

" We have seen him at Bourg even, a long time after, 
receive tokens of veneration and regard from the ofiicers of 
regiments who had seen him in Canada. 



" We see rendered in many letters of the ministers simi- 
lar testimonials rendered to his zeal and success. They 
give him the more credit because they saw his anxieties of 
heart under the obstacles he had to surmount and upon 
the ancient hostility of these nations, who had been almost 
perpetually at war, but their experience with the English 
had led them to bestow their attachment upon the French, 
in proof of which the conduct of these people for a long 
time after the war was cited. 

" We see in the work of T. Raynal (vol. vii. p. 292) 
that the savages had a marked predilection for the French ; 
that the missionaries were the principal cause of this ; and 
that he says that this fact is especially applicable to the 
Abb6 Picquet. 

" To give probability to what he says of his services, 
allow me to quote the testimony which he rendered in 1769 
to the governor-general after his return to France and the 
loss of Canada : 

" ' We, Marquis du Quesne, commander of the royal and military 
order of Saint Louis, chief of the squadron of the naval arm, ancient 
lieutenant-general, commandant of New France and the governments 
of Louisburgh and Louisiana : 

" ' Certify, that upon the favorable testimony which we have re- 
ceived in Canada of the services of the Abbe Picquet, missionary of 
the king among savage nations; upon the confidence which our pre- 
decessors in this colony have bestowed upon him j and the great rep- 
utation which he has acquired by the fine establishments which he 
has formed for the king, the numerous and supernatural conversions 
of infidels, which he has attached not less to the state than to reli- 
gion, by his zeal, his disinterestedness, his talents, and his activity, 
for the good of the service of His Majesty ; that we have employed 
him on different objects of' the same service during the whole period 
of our administration as governor-general, and that he has always 
acted equal to our expectations, and ever beyond our hope. 

" ' He has equally served religion and the state, with incredible 
success, during nearly thirty years. 

" ' He had directly rendered the king absolute master o the na- 
tional assemblies of four nations who composed his first mission to 
the Lake of Two Mountains, with liberty to nominate all their chiefs 
at his will. He had caused all the chiefs of the nations which com- 
posed his last mission, at La Presentation, to swear allegiance and 
fidelity to His Majesty; and at these places he created most admira- 
ble establishments ; in a word, he has rendered himself so much 
more worthy of our notice, that he would rather return to Canada 
and continue his labors than to live in his country and recover the 
heritage of his parents, who have disowned him^ as we have learned, 
for his not wishing to live in France, ten years since, when he was 
accompanied by three savages. 

" ' We would detail the important services which this abb6 has 
rendered, if his Majesty or his ministers require it, and render jus- 
tice lo whom it is due, to obtain of the king those marks of approba- 
tion which are deserved ; in the faith of which we have signed the 
present certificate and sealed it with our arms. 

" ' Signed " ' The Marquis du Quesni:.' 

" M. de Vaudreuil, governor and lieutenant-general for 
the king in all of New France, certified the same in 1765, 
that M. Picquet had served nearly thirty years in this 
colony, with all the zeal and distinction possible, as well in 
relation to the direct interests of the state as, relatively, to 
those of religion ; that his talents for gaining the good will 
of the savages, his resources in critical moments, and his 
activity, have uniformly entitled him to the praises and the 
confidence of the governors and the bishops ; that, above 
all, he had proved useful by his services in the late war, by 
sundry negotiations with the Iroquois and the domiciliated 
nations ; by the establishments which he had formed, and 

which had been of great service, by the indefatigable and 
incessant care which he had taken to keep the savages for- 
tified in their attachment to the French, and at the same 
time confirmed in their Christianity. 
-"M. de Bougainville, celebrated by his maritime expe- 
ditions, and who participated in the first acts of the war in 
Canada, certified, in 1760, that M. Picquet, king's mission- 
ary, known by the establishments which he had made alike 
serviceable to religion and the state, in all the campaigns 
in which he had been with him, had contributed by his 
zeal, his activity, and his talents to the good of the service 
of the king and to the glory of his arms ; and his standing 
among savage tribes and his personal services had been of 
the greatest service, as well in military as political affairs. 

" All those who had returned from Canada labored to 
make appreciated the services so long and so constantly 
rendered to France during nearly thirty years, and to make 
known the merit of a citizen who had expatriated himself 
to gratify the inclinations of his heart ; who had sacrificed 
his youth, his heritage, and all the flattering hopes of 
France ; who had exposed a thousand and a thousand times 
his life, preserving often the subjects of the king and the 
glory of his arms, and who could himself say that he had 
nothing in his actions but the glory of France during his 
residence in Canada, in which he had spent much of his 

" His services had not the same result in the last war for 
the preservation of Canada, but the brilliant and almost 
incredible actions by which he contributed to it have not 
the less preserved, with the savages, the notion and the 
high idea of French valor, and, possibly, this feeling may 
hereafter result to our advantage. 

" I would wish to be able to report all of the letters of 
ministers, governors-general, and private persons, of bishops, 
of intendants, and of other persons in authority, who wit- 
nessed with surprise the projects, the negotiations, and the 
operations of which this missionary had the charge, the 
congratulations which he received on his successes, as 
prompt as they were inspiring, upon his resources, upon 
the expedients which he suggested, his zeal and his expe- 
rience in critical situations, and which his activity always 
put into execution. 

" I have often asked him to make a history of them, that 
should be alike curious and honorable for France. 

" We find a part of these letters among his papers ; I 
have there seen, among others, those of M. de Montcalm, 
who called him, 'M?/ dear and very wortliy patriarch of 
the Five Nations.^ 

" M. the Marquis de L6vis desired especially to make 
known the labors and the successes of M. Picquet, of which 
he had been a witness, and which he had admired both for 
their disinterestedness, as well for regard to France as 
against the English, after the conquest of Canada ; and I 
have witnessed the solicitations which M. de L6vis made 
to excite his ambition; or direct towards some important 
place, a zeal which was worthy of a bishopric. 

" The evidence of his ecclesiastical superiors was not less 
favorable to the zeal of our missionary. The bishop of 
Quebec, in 1760, departing for Europe after having visited 
the new mission T^^hich M. Picquet had founded among the 



Iroquois, and where he had baptized more than a hundred 
adults, enjoined upon all the priests of his diocese to aid 
him as much as they might be able ; he conferred upon 
him all his powers, even those of approving the other 
priests, and of absolving from censures, reserved to the 
sovereign Pontiff. 

" M. Picquet, after returning to France, passed several 
years in Paris, but a portion of his time was engaged in 
exercising the ministry of all the suburbs, where the arch- 
bishop of Paris deemed that he could be most useful. His 
alacrity for labor fixed him a long time at Mount Valerian, 
where he erected a parish church. 

" He had been compelled to make a journey to sell books 
which the king had presented hitn in 1754, which had sur- 
vived the treatment he had experienced in Canada, and, 
although he was ledueed to a very small patrin)ony, he 
failed to employ his activity in obtaining the recompense he 
had so well merited. 

" Meanwhile, the general assembly of the clergy of 1765 
oifered him a gratuity of twelve hundred livres, and charged 
M. the archbishop of Rheims and M. the archbishop of 
Aries to solicit for hini a recompense from the king. 

"The assembly next ensuing, in 1770, gave him also a 
similar gi'atuity, but his departure frortt Paris interrupted 
the success of the hopes which his friends had entertained 
of the recompenses from the court. 

" In 1772 he wished to retire to Bresse, whete a numer- 
ous family desired it, and urged it with much earnestness. 

" He afterwards went to Verjon, where he caused to be 
built a house, with the view of making an establishment for 
the education of young people. He preached, he catechised, 
he confessed, and his zeal was never so much manifested. 

" The cTiapter of Bourg decreed him the title of honorary 
canon. The ladies De la Visitation asked him to become 
their director, and they thus attracted him to the capital of 
the province. 

" In 1777 he made a journey to Rome, whore his repu- 
tation preceded him, and where the Holy Father received 
him as a. missionary worthy of being held dear by the 
church, and presented him with a gratuity of five thousand 
livres for his journey. 

" They there made the ineiFectual endeavors to detain 
him. He returned to Bresse, and carried thither relics, 
which he displayed, for the veneration of the faithful, in 
the collegiate church at Bourg. 

" The reputation of the Abbey of Cluny, and the friend- 
ship which M. Picquet felt towards one of his nephews, 
established at Cluny, brought him to this habitation so cele- 
brated in Christianity. He purchased for himself, about 
1779, a house and plat of land, which he wished to improve, 
but in 1781 he repaired with a sister to Verjon, for the 
settlement of affairs, where he was repeatedly attacked by 
an obstinate cold and by a hemorrhage, which reduced him 
considerably, and also by a kind of dropsy ; lastly, a hernia, 
which had existed a long time, became aggravated, and 
caused his death on the 15th of July, 1781. 

" M. Picquet had a very prepossessing and commanding 
figure, and a countenance open and engaging. He pos- 
sessed a gay and cheerful humor. Notwithstanding the 
austerity of his manners, he exhibited nothing but gayety 

which he turned to account in his designs. He was a theo- 
logian, an orator, and a poet ; he sung and composed songi 
in French as well as in Iroquois, with which he interested 
and amused the savages. He was a child with one and a 
hero with others. His mechanical ingenuity was often ad- 
mired by the natives. In short, he resorted to every means 
to attract proselytes and to attach them to him, and he ac- 
cordingly had all the success which can reward industry, 
talents, and zeal. 

" It is thus I have thought best to make known a com- 
patriot and a friend worthy of being offered as an example 
to incite those who are burning with zeal for religion and 
for their country." 

Picquet was as much an object of abhorrence by the 
English as he was of esteem by the French, — a very natural 
result from the active partisan spirit which he evinced, and 
the zeal and success with which he prosecuted his plans for 
the aggrandizement of his faith and his allegiance, which 
appear to have been equally the objects of his ambition and 
the aim and end of his life. Having given in the above 
biographical notice his memoirs drawn up in that florid 
style of panegyric so common with the people and the age 
in which it was written, we will quote from an English his- 
torian of the French war. (Thos. Mante, in a work entitled 
"The History of the Late War in America," London, 
1772, quarto, page 231.) It is probably as much biased by 
"prejudice as the other by partiality. 

"As to the Abbe Picquet, who distinguished himself so much by 
his brutal zeal, as he did not expose himself to any danger, he re- 
ceived no injury, and he yet lives, justly despised to such a degree by 
every one who knows anything of his past conduct in America, that 
scarce any officer will admit him to his table. 

"However repugnant it must be to every idea of honor and hu- 
manity not to give quarter to an enemy when subdued, it must be 
infinitely more so not to spare women and children. Yet such had 
often been the objects of the Abb6 Picquet's cruel advice, enforced 
by the most barbarous examples, especially in the English settlements 
on the back of Virginia and Pennsylvania." 

A French writer, whose initials only are given (S 

de C ), has left a memoir upon the war in Canada, and 

the affairs of that province from 1749 till 1760, which was 
published under the direction of the Literary and Histori- 
cal Society of Quebec in 1835, and which makes frequent 
mention of the post at Oswegatchie. From this work we 
will translate a few extracts. 

The rancor with which he assails Picquet almost leads 
us to believe that he was actuated by a personal enmity, 
although it appears not have been limited to this mission- 
ary, but to have been directed towards the religious estab- 
lishments of the country in general. 

We shall endeavor to preserve the spirit of the original 
in our translation. We are thus furnished with two ver- 
sions of the conduct of Picquet, and prevented from being 
misled by an ex-parte narrative, like that which Lalande 
the astronomer has given us. 

" Thus M. de la JonquiSro, persuaded that peace could not long 
continue, labored to inspire the savages with a hatred to the English, 
and especially endeavored to attach the Five Nations or Irofiim- 
These people had been always distinguished by their bravery; 'he 
French had waged with them long and cruel wars, and the i'nhab- 
itanta had been compelled to labor arms in hand, as we see in the 
history of Charlevoix, a Jesuit, who has written an ecolesiasticul 
history of this country. 



'"this nation is divided into five branches, named the OnoTitagu6a, 
the Ooj/oguina, the Stonnontowana [Senecae]., the Anniert [Moliawlcs], 
and the domiciliated tribes. 

" The Onotidagas dwell upon a lake, at no great distance from the 
Mohawk river, in a fertile country, and the English pretend that it 
belongs to them. The Goyoguiua and the Stonnonionana arc a little 
beyond in the same direction, and approaching Niagara. The jdii- 
iii'ei-8 dwell upon the river Mohawk, not far from a dwelling belong- 
ing to Mr. Johnson, an English otBcer, who understands the Indian 
language, and has been very active during this war. The others 
reside at the Saut St. Louis, three leagues from Montreal, some at a 
place called La Presentation, and some at the Lake of Two Mountains. 
" The general can well rely upon the fidelity of those who dwell 
near him, but it is not so of the others. Their Cantons, situated as 
we have seen above, furnish, in one way and another, difficulties not 
easy to surmount. 

" M. theAbbfi Picquet, priest of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, was 
to this Canton what the AbbS de la Loutre was to Acadia. He had 
as much ambition as he had, but he turned it to a different account.* 
He understood the Iroqnoia language, and this gave him a great ad- 
vantage, and enabled him to put on foot the negotiations which he 
wished with the Five Nations to draw them to our cause, and engage 
them to come and dwell with us. This abb^, who could not endure 
the restraint of the seminary, was very willing to seize an occasion 
like that which offered of freeing himself, and of forming a commu- 
nity over which he might rule and reign. He labored to decoy the 
Five Nations, and to form upon the Uiver Cataraqui, or Frontcnac, 
above the rapids, a village. 

'* The place which ~he selected for his establishment announced his 
little genius,- and caused the fort which he had built to be called 
Picquet's Folly j as for himself, he called it La Presentation. 

*' When the Abbg Picquet had assembled some families, he talked 
of building a fort, under the pretext of protecting them, and they 
sent him a commandant and a magazine guard, and enjoined it upon 
the commandant to have much regard for the abb6, and placed him, 
so to speak, under his tutelage, aud gave full permission to this priest 
to conduct and administer the magazines ; in short, everything was 
under his orders. 

" This priest, meanwhile, did not prosper much, and it was felt 
that there was great difficulty in inducing the Iroqiioia to leave a fat 
and fertile country- to come and iix themselves upon an uncultivated 
tract, and to beg for their life of a priest. It was for this reason that 
De la Jonquiere the elder was sent to go and "remain among them, 
and in the village which he might deem the most convenient for his 
negotiations, and they gave him a brevet of captain, without a com- 
pany, to the end that he might not be disturbed in his residence, on 
account of his services. 

'* There could not have been chosen a more suitable person to re- 
main with them. He understood their language perfectly, and for a 
long time had lived among them as one of their number, and, al- 
though he had been married in Canada, he had among the Iroqnoia 
many children ; and, in short, he had been, as it were, adopted among 
them, and was regarded as one of their nation. • 

"He had his cabin. His instructions were to second the Abbfi 
Picquet in his project, and, above all, to induce the Mtthawhe to leave 
entirely the vicinity of the English, and to offer them such induce- 
ments and advantages as they desired tu make them abandon their 
settlements and come and live with us. If, indeed, he had been able 
to succeed in this, there can be no doubt that the remainder of the 
Five Nations would have followed their e.\ample. They alone were 
directly attached to the English, who had all along preserved in them 
a hostility to our nation. But Mr. Johnson, who was not ignorant 
of the designs of the French, labored, on the contrary, to maintain 
them in the alliance of his nation. 

"The Jesuits, who had always sought their own aggrandizement 
nnder the pious pretext of instructing the people, had not failed to 
seek to establish themselves in Canada. 

"Wishing tO remain the 80I0 masters, they crossed, as much as 
possible, the R^oUets in their projects of returning to the country, 
after the English had restored Canada [in the treaty of St. Germain 
in 1632]. ■ From the earliest times that these fathers (the Jesuits) 

* Hooquart has given him the title of the Apoatle of the Iroquoia, 
and the English called him the Jeatiit of the Weat. — {Note in the 

were established in the country they detached some of their number 
to go and preach the gospel to the savages. They followed them in 
their marches ; but, wearied with their wandering life, which agreed 
not with their designs which they had to accumulate large proper- 
ties, they took great care to endeavor to establish their neophytes, 
without embarrassing themselves by those whom they abandoned. 

" They made great account of their zeal at the court, and showed 
large numbers of converts ; and, under the specious pretext of uniting 
them, to civilize them,f they demanded concessions of lands and 
pensions. The court, persuaded of the justice of their demands, 
accorded both the one and the other. 

" It was thus that they acquired the seigniories of Charlesbourg, 
New and Old Lorette, Rastican, and the Prairie de la Magdelcine, 
and others, which are very well established, and of considerable re- 
pute. These concessions were given them under the titles of seigneurie 
et ventes {loda et vejitea)." , . . 

To adopt either of these as a true account of the charac- 
ter of Picquet would be equally unjust. Now that the 
times and circumstances in which he lived have both passed 
away, and even the consequences resulting from his actions 
have ceased to exist, we may perhaps, from the data before 
us, in view of the times and the circumstances in which he 
acted, deduce the following conclusion : 

That he was actuated by a controlling belief of the im- 
portance and the truth of the religion which he labored 
with such zeal to establish, and that this was the ruling 
passion of his life. That his energy and ability for the 
promotion of this object at times led him to disregard the 
common claims of humanity, and to the performance of acts 
derogatory to our nature and abhorred by civilized man. 

That he evinced a capacity for the transaction of busi- 
ness and the promotion of the interests of his government 
highly creditable to his character, and such as to entitle 
him to the esteem in which he was held by those in 
authority ; and that especially in the selection of a location 
for a new settlement, which was the great act of his life, he 
proved himself the possessor of a sound mind, and a capa- 
city for judiciously combining and comparing the probable 
effects of causes, which must have made a prominent station 
of the post he selected. 

The prophecy that a beautiful town might hereafter be 
built on the elevated plain opposite his fort has been fully 
realized in the present village of Ogdensburg, which the 
combination of favorable causes now existing is destined 
soon to give a rank second to but few on our inland waters. 

The portrait of Picquet is preserved at the Sulpician 
mission of the Lake of Two Mountains, the scene of his 
early labors and first success as a missionary. Picquet was 
succeeded in the mission of La Presentation by Pierre Paul, 
Frs. de la Garde, who came to Canada in 1755, and died at 
Montreal, April 4, 1784. (See note, ante.) 


With the fall of the fortress of Isle Royal ceased the 
French dominion in 8t. Lawrence County.J It was sub- 

f The author in the MSS. neither renders justice to the motives nor 
the conduct of the Jesuits. — {Note in the original.) 

J Antoine St. Martin, a Frenchman, said to have inhabited the 
country since its occupation by the French, in 1760, died at an ex- 
treme age (supposed to exceed by several years a century), on the 
ith of March, 1849, at Ogdensburg. In his latter years he attracted 
some attention from his being made the personage of "■ romance, 
written and published at Potsdam, by C. Boynton. His longevity 
appears to have been to him, as much as it was to others, a wonder. 



sequently occupied by a small guard of British troops, and 
held till surrendered, in accordance with the stipulations of 
Jay's treaty, in the summer of 1796, to Judge Ford, who 
leceived it for the proprietors. The remains of a cemetery 
still exist on the west side of the Oswegatchie, and several 
head-stones mark the place where British soldiers were 
buried. The history of this station, so far as our knowl- 
edge extends, from the time of the English conquest to the 
surrender under the treaty, is nearly or quite lost. 

Such data as have fallen under our notice will here be 
given : 

In the summer of 1776 the following minute was for- 
warded from Oswego by Lieutenant Edward McMichael 
(see "American Archives," fifth series, vol. i. page 815) : 

" Was informed at Oswego that three regiments of Ministerial 
troops had arrived at Oswegatchie, at which place they were joined 
by a number of Tories and Indians under the command of Colonel 
Johnson, and were to embark immediately on board two armed ves- 
sels, bateaux, and canoes, and proceed to Oswego, at which place 
they were to be joined by Colonel Butler, with nil the Indians under 
his command, and likewise by Colonel Caldwell, with what regulars 
could be spared from Niagara. 

" They intended repairing Oswego Fort as soon as possible, in 
order that they might hold a treaty with the Indians, and be able to 
defend themselves against any attack." 

In April, 1779, Lieutenants McClellan and Harden- 
burgh, of the Revolutionary army, were dispatched from 
Fort Schuyler on an expedition, at the head of a body of 
Indians, against the British garrison at Oswegatchie, in- 
tending to steal upon it and take it by surprise, but falling 
in with some straggling Indians, several shots were impru- 
dently exchanged, which alarmed the garrison. They then 
attempted to draw the enemy from the fort by stratagem, 
and partly succeeded, but could not draw them to a suffi- 
cient distance to cut oif their retreat, and on approaching 
the fort themselves, the assailants were so warmly received, 
that they were compelled to retreat without unnecessary de- 
lay. The only service performed was to send a Cauglma- 
waga Indian into Canada with a letter in French by a French 
general, probably the Marquis de Lafayette, and addressed 
to the Canadians, and written the preceding autumn. 
The expedition was dispatched from Fort Schuyler on the 
day before Colonel Van Schaiok moved upon Onondaga ; 
and from a letter addressed by General Clinton six weeks 
afterwards to General Sullivan, there is reason to believe 
one object was to get clear of the Oneida Indians, then in 
the fort, until Colonel Van Schaick should have proceeded 
so far upon his expedition that they or their people should 
not be able to give the Onondagas notice of his approach. 
All the Indians still remaining in Fort Schuyler on the 18th 
were detained expressly for that purpose. Although pro- 
fessedly friendly, and reliable as scouts, they could not be 
trusted in expeditions against their fellows. 

The expedition of Lieutenants McClellan and Harden- 
burgh returned to Fort Schuyler without having efiected 
their purpose on the 30th of April. 

An incident happened in a military expedition from 
Fort Schuyler to Oswegatchie, during the Revolutionary 

and he would at times weep, and lament that "God had forgotten 
him." With him perished the last survivor of the French period 
of our history, and it is much to be regretted that his narrative and 
recollections were not preserved. 

war, and probably in the one just described, which shows 
in an amiable light the finer feelings of the Indian charac- 
ter, and will serve as an ofiset for some of the darker phases 
of Indian warfare. The subject of the adventure after- 
wards for several years resided in St. Lawrence County, 
and often related the incident to the one from whose lips 
the account is written. 

Belonging to the military party that was proceeding 
through the forest was a little boy, about twelve years old, 
who served as a fifer to the company. Light-hearted and 
innocent, he tripped along, sometimes running in advance 
to gather flowers, and at others lingering behind to listen 
to the music of the birds, which made the forest vocal 
with their songs. Seeing the unguarded deportment of 
the lad, his captain cautioned him wandering from 
the company, for fear that some hostile Indian, who might 
be lurking in the thicket, should take him ofiF. The warn- 
ing was heeded for some time, but ere long forgot, and he 
found himself many rods in advance of the party, culling 
the wild-flowers which were scattered in his path and in- 
haling the fragrance which the morning air, with its exhil- 
arating freshness, inspired him, when he was suddenly 
startled by a rude grasp upon the shoulder, which, upon • 
looking around, he saw was that of a sturdy Indian, who 
had been secreted behind a rock, and had darted from his 
concealment upon the unsuspecting victim, who had wan- 
dered from his protectors. 

He attempted to scream, but fear paralyzed his tongue, 
and he saw the glittering tomahawk brandished over his 
head, which the next moment would terminate with a blow 
his existence ; but the savage, seeing the unarmed and 
terror-stricken child, with no warlike implement but his 
fife, and doubtless touched with the innocence and terror 
of his trembling prisoner, relaxed his grasp, took the fife 
from under his arm, and having playfully blowed in its end 
he returned it to its owner, and bounded ofi' into the forest. 
No further caution was needed to keep him within the 
ranks, and they the next day reached their destination, 
which was Fort Oswegatchie. 

In after-years, when age had made him infirm, in re- 
lating this incident, he would weep with emotion at this 
perilous adventure, and always ended with the heartfelt ac- 
knowledgment " that God had always protected him, and 
guarded him from dangers seen and unseen, and from 
childhood to old age.'' 

Isaac Weld, Jr., published in London, in 1799, in two 
12mo volumes, a journal of travels in the States of North 
America, and the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, 
in the years 1795-97, which describes, among other inter- 
esting subjects, the condition and appearance of our fron- 
tier, and the fort at the mouth of the Oswegatchie, which 
we will quote. [ Vol. il p. 38, et seq.] The voyage was 
undertaken in the month of August, 1796 : — 

"The Indians not only retain possession of the different islands, 
but likewise of the whole of the southeast shore of the St. Lawrence, 
situated within the bounds of the United States; they likewise have 
considerable strips of land on the opposite shore, within the British 
dominions, bordering upon the river; these they have reserved to 
themselves, for hunting. The Iroquois Indians have a village upon 
the Isle of St. Regis, and another also upon the mainland, on the 
southeast shore; as wo passed, several of the inhabitants put off in 



canoes, and exchanged unripe heads of Indian corn with the men for 
bread; they also brought with them some very fine wild duck and 
fish, which they disposed of to us on very moderate terms. 

" On the fourth night of our voyage we encamped, as usual, on the 
mainland, opposite the island of St. Regis, and the excellent viands 
which we hnd procured from the Indians having been cooked, we 
sat down to supper before a large fire, materials for which are never 
wanting in this woody country. The night was uncommonly serene, 
and we were induced to remain to a late hour in front of our tent 
talking of the various occurrences in the course of the day ; but we 
had scarcely retired to rest when the sky became overcast, a dreadful 
storm arose, and by daybreak the next morning we found ourselves, 
and everything belonging to us, drenched with rain. 

*< Our situation now was by no means agreeable. Torrents still 
came pouring downj neither our tent nor the woods aff'orded us any 
shelter, and, the wind being very strong and as averse as it could 
blow, there was no prospect of our being enabled speedily to get into 
better quarters. In this state we had remained for a considerable 
time, when one of the party, who had been rambling about in order 
to discover what sort of a neighborhood we were in, returned with 
the pleasing intelligence that there was a house at no great distance, 
and that the owner had invited us to it. It waa the house of an old 
Provincial ofiicer, who had received a grant of land in this part of the 
country for his past services. We gladly proceeded to it, and met 
with a most cordial welcome from the captain and his fair daughters, 
who had provided a plenteous breakfast, and spared no pains to make 
their habitation during our stay as pleasing to us as possible. 

" We felt great satisfaction at the idea that it would be in our power 
to spend the remainder of the day with these worthy and hospitable 
people, but, alas ! we had all formed an erroneous opinion of the 
weather: the wind veered suddenly about, the sun broke through the 
thick clouds, the conductor gave the parting order, and in a few min- 
utes we found ourselves once more seated in our bateau. From 
hence upwards for a distance of forty miles the current of the river 
is exceedingly strong, and numberless rapids are to be encountered, 
which, though not so tremendous to appearance as those at the Cas- 
cades and le Coteau du Lac, are yet both more dangerous and more 
difficult to pass. The great danger consists, however, in going down 
them. It arises from the shallowness of the water and the great 
number of sharp rocks, in the midst of which the vessels are hurried 
along with such impetuosity that if they unfortunately get into a 
wrong channel nothing can save them from being dashed to pieces, 
but so intimately are the people employed on this river acquainted 
with the difi'erent channels that an accident of the sort is scarcely 
ever heard of. *Le Long Saut,' the Long Fall, or Rapid, situate 
about thirty miles above Lake St. Francis, is the most dangerous of 
any on the river, and so difficult a matter is it to pass it that it re- 
quires not less than six men on shore to haul a single bateau against 
the current. 

"There is a third canal, with locks, at this place, in order to avoid a 
point which it would be wholly impracticable to weather in the ordi- 
nary way. These diflferent canals and locks have been made at the 
expense of government, and the profits arising from the tolls paid by 
each bateau that passes through them are placed in the public treasury. 
At these rapids, and at several of the others, there are very extensive 
flour- and saw-mills. 

" On the fifth night we arrived at a small farm-house at the top of 
the Long Saut, wet from head to foot, in consequence of having been 
obliged to walk past the rapids through woods and bushes still drip- 
ping after the heavy rain that had fallen in the morning. The woods 
in this neighborhood are far more majestic than on any other part of 
the St. Lawrence J the pines, in particular, are uncommonly tall, and 
seem to wave their tops in the very clouds. In Canada pines grow 
on the richest soils, but in the United States they grow mostly on 
poor ground; a tract of land covered with lofty pines is there gen- 
erally denominated 'a pine barren,* on account of its great poverty. 

" During a considerable part of the next day we also proceeded on 
foot, in order to escape the tedious passage of the Rapide Plat, and 
some of the other dangerous rapids in this part of the river. As we 
passed along we had an excellent diversion in shooting pigeons, 
several large flights of which we met with in the woods. The wild 
pigeons of Canada are not unlike the common English wood-pigeon, 
except that they are of a much smaller size ; their flesh is very well 
flavored. During particular years these birds come down from the 
northern regions in flights that are marvelous to tell. A gentleman 

of the town of Niagara assured me that once as he was embarking 
there on board a, ship for Toronto, a flight of them was observed 
coming from that quarter; that as he sailed over Lake Ontario to 
Toronto, forty-five miles distant from Niagara, pigeons were seen 
flying overhead the whole way in a contrary direction to that from 
which the ship was proceeding, and that on arriving at the place of 
his destination the birds were still observed coming down from the 
north in as large bodies as had been noticed at any one time during 
the whole voyage. Supposing, therefore, that the pigeons moved no 
faster than the vessel, the flight, according to this gentleman's account, 
must at least have extended eighty miles. 

"Many persons may think this story surpassing belief; for my own 
part, however, I do not hesitate to give credit to it, knowing as I do 
the respectability of the gentleman who related it and the accuracy 
of his observation. When these birds appear in such great numbers 
they often light on the borders of rivers and lakes, and in the neigh- 
borhood of farm-houses, at which time they are so unwary that a man 
with a short stick might easily knock them down by hundreds. 

"It is not oftener than once in seven or eight years, perhaps, that 
such large flocks of these birds are seen in the country. The years 
in which they appear are denominated 'pigeon years,' 

" There are also ' bear years' and ' squirrel years.* This was both 
a bear and a squirrel year. The former, like the pigeons, come down 
from the northern regions, and were most numerous in the neighbor- 
hoods of Lakes Erie and Ontario, and along the upper part of the 
river St, Lawrence. On arriving at the borders of these lakes, or of 
the river, if the opposite shore were in sight, they generally took to 
the water and endeavored to reach it by swimming. Prodigious 
numbers of them are killed in crossing the St. Lawrence by the In- 
dians, who had hunting encampments at short distances from each 
other the whole way along the bank of the river from the island of 
St. Regis to Lake Ontario. One bear of very large size boldly entered 
the river in the face of our bateau, and was killed by one of our men 
while swimming from the mainland to one of the islands. . . . 

" The squirrels this year, contrary to the bears, migrated from the 
south, from the territory of the United States. Like the bears, they 
took to the water on arriving at it, but as if conscious of their ina- 
bility to cross a very wide piece of water, they bent their course 
towards Niagara river, above the falls, and at its narrowest and most 
tranquil part crossed over into the British territory. It was calculated 
that upwards of fifty thousand of them crossed the river in the course 
of two or three days, and such great depredations did they commit 
on arriving at the settlements on the opposite side, that in one part 
of the country the farmery deemed themselves very fortunate where 
they got in as much as one-third of their crops of corn. These 
squirrels were all of the black kind, said to be peculiar to the conti- 
nent of America. 

"On the sixth evening of our voyage we stopped nearly opposite 
to Point aux Iroquois, so named from a French family having been 
cruelly massacred there by the 'Iroquois Indians in the early ages of 
the colony. T-he ground being still extremely wet here, in conse- 
quence of the heavy rain of the preceding day, we did not much relish 
the thoughts of passing the night in our tent; yet there seemed to be 
no alternative, as the only house in sight was crowded with people, 
and not capable of affording us any accommodation. Luckily, how- 
ever, as we were searching about for the driest spot to pitch our tent 
upon, one of the partj' espied a barn, at a little distance, belonging 
to the man of the adjoining house, of whom we procured the key ; it 
was well stored with straw, and having mounted to the top of the 
mow, we laid ourselves down to rest, and slept soundly there, till 
awakened in the morning by the crowing of some cocks that were 
perched on the beams over our heads. 

" At an early hour we pursued our voyage, and before noon passed 
the last rapid, about three miles below the mouth of the Oswegatchie 
river, the most considerable of these within the limit of the United 
States which fall into the St. Lawrence; it consists of three- branches 
that unite about fifteen'^-" miles above its mouth, the most western of 
which issues from a lake twenty miles in length and eight in 

"Another of the branches issues from a small lake or pond, only 
about four miles distant from the west branch of the Hudson river, 
that flows past New York. Both the Hudson and the Oswegatchie 
are said to be capable of being made navigable for light bateaux as 

"^■" The writer makes some very erroneous statements. 



far as this spot, where they approach within so short a distance of 
each other, except only at a few places, so that the portages will be 
but very trifling. This, however, is a mere conjecture, for Oswe- 
gatchie river is but very imperfectly known, the country it passes 
through being quite uninhabited ; but should it be found at a future 
period that these rivers are indeed capable of being rendered navi- 
gable so far up the country, it will probably be through this channel 
that the greatest of the trade that there may happen to be between New 
York and the country bordering upon Lake Ontario will be carried 

The small lake referred to bj the author was -doubtless 
Raquette lake, in Hamilton county, which is even nearer 
the head-waters of the Hudson than above stated, but it 
lies at the source of the Raquette river, instead of the Os- 

" The trade is at present carried on between that city and the lake 
by means of Hudson river as far as Albany, and from thence by 
means of the Mohawks' river, "Wood creek, Lake Ontario, and Oswego 
river, which falls into Lake Ontario. The harbor at the mouth of 
Oswego river is very bad; on account of the sand-banks none but 
flat-bottomed vessels can approach with safety nearer to it than two 
miles, nor is there any good harbor on the south side of Lake Onta- 
rio, in the neighborhood of any large rivers. Sharp-built vessels, 
however, of a considerable size can approach with safety to the mouth 
of Oswegatchie river. The 'Seneca,' a British vessel of war of twenty- 
six guns, used to ply constantly formerly between Fort de la Galette, 
situated at the mouth of that river,* and the fort at Niagara; and 
the British fur ships on the lakes used also at that time to discharge 
the cargoes there, brought down from the upper country. - 

" As, therefore, the harbor at the mouth of Oswegatchie is so much 
better than that at the mouth of the Oswego river, and as they are 
nearly an equal distance from New York, there is reason to suppose that 
if the river navigation should prove equally good, the trade between 
the lakes and New York will be for the most part, if not wholly, carried 
on by means of Oswegatchie river, rather than Oswego river. With a 
fair wind the passage from Oswegatchie river to Niagara is accom- 
plished in two days, a voyage only one day longer than from Oswego 
to Niagara. 

" Fort de la Galette was erected by the French, and though not built 
till long after Fort Frontenac, now Kingston, yet they esteemed it by the most important military post on the St. Lawrence, in the upper 
country, as it was impossible for any boat, or vessel, to pass up or 
down that river without being observed, whereas theyeasily escape 
uuseen behind the many islands opposite to Kingston. Since the 
close of the American war Fort de la Galette has been dismantled, as 
it was within the territories of the United States/-- nor would any ad- 
vantage have arisen from its retention, for it was never of any im- 
portance to us but as a trading-post, and as such, Kingston, which 
is in our own territory, is far more eligibly situated in every point 
of view; it has a more safe and commodious harbor ; the fur ships 
coming down from Niagara by stopping there are saved a voyage of 
sixty miles up and down the St. Lawrence, which was often found to 
be more tedious than the voyage from Niagara to Kingston. In the 
neighborhood of La Galette, on the Oswegatchie river, there is a vil- 
vage of the Oatoefjatahie Indians, whose numbers arc estimated at one 
hundred warriors. 

" The current of the St. Lawrence, from Oswegatchie upwards, is 
much more gentle than in any other part between Montreal and Lake 
Ontario, except only where the river is considerably dilated, as at 
Lakes St. Louis and St. Franf ois ; however, notwithstanding its being 
so gentle, we did not advance more than twenty-five miles in the 
course of the day, owing to the numerous stops that we made, more 
from motives of pleasure than necessity. The evening was uncom- 
monly fine, and towards sunset, a brisk gale springing up, the con- 
ductor judged it advisable to take advantage of it and to continue 
the voyage all night, in order to make up for the time we had lost 
during the day. We accordingly proceeded, but townrds midnight 
the wind died away; this circumstance, however, did not alter the 
determination of the conductor. The men were ordered to the oars 

» Fort de la Galette was below the Oswegatchie, on the Canada 

and, notwithstanding that they had labored hard during the preceding 
day and had had no rest, yet they were kept closely at work until 
daybreak, except for one hour, during, which they were allowed to 
stop to cook their proyisions. Where there is a gentle icurrent, as in 
this part of the river, the Canadians will work at the oar for many 
hours without intermission. They seemed to think it no hardship to 
be kept employed in this instance the whole njght; on the contrary, 
they plied as vigorously as if tbey had but just set out, singing 
merrily the whole time. The French Canadians have in general a 
good ear for music, and sing duets with tolerable accuracy. They 
have one very favorite duet amongst them, called the ' rowing duet,' 
which, as they sing, they mark time to, with each stroke of the oar; 
indeed, when rowing in, smooth water, they mark time the, most of 
the airs they sing in the same manner. . . . The Lake of a Thousand 
Islands is twenty ^five miles in length, and about six in breadth. From 
its upper end to Kingston, at which place we arrived early in the 
evening, the distance is fifteen miles. 

" The length of time required to ascend the river St. Lawrence, 
from Montreal to Kingston, is commonly found to be about se-ven 
days. If the wind should be strong and very, favorable the passage 
may be performed in a less time;. but should it, on the contrary, 
be adverse, and blow very strong, the passage, will ,be protracted 
somewhat longer; an adverse or favorable wind, however,- seldom" 
makes a difference of more than three days in, the length of- passage 
upwards, as in each case it is necessary to work the bateaux -along by 
means of poles for the greater part of the wa,y. The passage down- 
wards is performed in two or three days, according to the wind. The; 
current is so strong that a contrary wind seldom lengthens the pas- 
sage in that direction more than a day." 

The English are believed to have maintained the fort,at 
Oswegatchie as a protection to their fur trade, and this was 
made the cover of a pretension to justify their retaining it 
after the peace which followed the Revolution. The Oswe- 
gatchies continued to reside in the vicinity after the Bag- 
lish conquest, adopted the new allegiance, and as usual 
became corrupted in morals by their vicinity to the garri- 
son. They are believed to have acted with the British iri 
the War of the Revolution. 

In the enumeration of Indian tribes made by Sir Wm. 
Johnson, in 1763,"j" the tribe is represented as numbering 
eighty warriors, at peace with the English. In the same 
enumeration the Gauglmawagas are reported at three 
hundred men, emigrants from the Mohawks,. nxxA with a 
colony at Aghquissasne (St. Regis), which was the seat of 
a mission. The latter had been founded but three years 

A portion of the Mohawk emigration had settled at the 
mission of the Lake of Two Mountains. The English were 
careful not to molest them in their religious observances,, 
which remain to this day the same as when first estab- 
lished among them. The Oswegatchles, at the time when 
the present class of settlers came on, were occupying a 
village of twenty-three houses, on Indian Point, in Lisbon, 
about three miles below Ogdensburg. Spafford, in his 
" Gazetteer," published in 1813, thus mentions them : 

"This village was built' by the British government after the Revo- 
lution, and when, of course, that government had no title to the land. 
The Indians remained here several years after the settlement of the 
country by the present proprietors, and wore removed by order, of 
the government of New York, on the complaint of the inhabitants. 
These Indians, driven from Now Johnstown, in Upper Canada, re- 
ceived this spot, with improvements, in exchange, from which driven_ 
by our government, they became destitute of a local habitation and tt' 
name, and the Oswegatchie tribe no longer exists, although a few indi- 
viduals remain, scattered among the surrounding tribes." 

t Documcritary History of New York, vol. i. page 2,7. . -,; 



This dispersion took place about 1806 or 1807, and the 
remnants of the tribe, or their descendants, are found at 
St. Regis, Onondaga, and elsewhere. While in Lisbon, 
they were under the direction of one Joseph Reoain, a 
Frenchman, who spoke their dialect of the Iroquois lan- 
guage, and is said to have been a chief, and to have married 
an Indian woman. They planted coi'n on Galloo island, 
and elsewhere in the vicinity. 

Their village is described by one who saw it in 1802 as 
consisting of a street, running parallel with the river, with 
the houses ranged in a regular manner on each side of it, 
all uniformly built, with their ends to the street, sharp 
roofed, shingled with pointed shingles, and with glass 
windows. Every house was built for two families, had two 
doors in front, and a double fire-plaee and single chimney 
in the centre, with a partition equally dividing the interior. 
In 1802 there were about twenty-four families. 

These Indians were accustomed to spend most of their 
summers on Black lake, in hunting and fishing, returning 
to their cabins for the winter. They used bark canoes, 
which they carried around rapids and across portages with 
perfect ease. As many as forty Indians at a time were 
often seen in the settlement when new. 

Directly opposite to the site of the Indian village of the 
Oswegatchies is the island that was fortified by the French, 
and taken by the English under Lord Amherst in 1760.* 
The ruins of the fortress upon it are still to be seen, 
although mostly obliterated, and have given it the name of 
Chimaay island. This island is low, and in shape irregular. 
It is on the American side of the channel, and has an area 
of six acres. There are said to be still seen on an island 
opposite this, under the Canada shore, the traces of works 
erected by the English to assist in its reduction. 

A great number of iron shot and other metallic relics 
have been found on this- island and the adjoining shores, as 
tomahawks, hoes, axes, picks, the hangings of gates, and 
other relics of the French and Indian occupation of the place. 

Like many other places having associations connected 
with the olden time. Chimney islandf has been the scene 
of money-digging, on a somewhat extensive scale, by those 
who were weak enough to be led astray by tlie pretended 
indications of the divining-rod or the impositions of for- 
tune-tellers. As uniformly happens, there has been money 
lost instead of gained in these operations, and if stories 
are to be believed, certain of these adventurers have lost 
somewhat of credit and standing in the community by these 



Indian Titles, Treaties, and Cession of Lands— Land Titles Proper : 
Macomb's and Other Purchases — Early Settlements. 

This subject has been exhaustively treated by Dr. Hough 
in his History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, from 
which we take the following accounts, with revisions and 
corrections by the doctor. It involves more or less the 

' Oraconenton island. 

f Its present name.. 

history of the various Indian reservations and missions in 
this region. We give it in as condensed a form as is pos- 
sible, and preserve the meaning and connections : 



" The sovereignty of the soil of the northern part of the 
State was anciently vested in the Mohawks, who, from the 
earliest period of authentic history, exercised jurisdiction 
over it. Upon the emigration of a part of this people to 
Canada, they claimed to carry with them the title from 
whence the villagers of St. Regis asserted their claim to 
the northern part of the State in common with the other 
MohawJc nations of Canada. 

" The Mohawks, it is well known, espoused the royal 
cause in the Revolution, through the influence of the 
Johnson family, and emigrated to Grand River, in Upper 
Canada, where they still reside on lands given them by 
government. Whatever title to the land remained with 
them was surrendered by the following treaty, held at 
Albany, March 29, 1795 : 

" ' At a treaty, held under the authority of the United States, with 
the Mohaiak nation of Indians, residing in the province of Upper 
Canada, within the dominions of the King of Great Britain. Present, 
the Hon. Is.aac Smith, commissioner appointed by the United States 
to hold this treaty, Abram Ten Broeck, Egbert Benson, and Ezra 
L'Hommedieu, agents for the State of New York, Capt. Joseph 
Brant and Capt. John Deserontyon, two of the said Indians, and 
deputies to represent the said nation at this treaty. 

" ' The said agents having in the presence, and with the approba- 
tion of the said commissioners, proposed to and adjusted with the 
said deputies the compensation, as hereinafter mentioned, to be made 
to the said n.ition for their claim, to be extinguished by this treaty, 
to all lands within the said State. It is thereupon finally agreed and 
done betwen the said nations and the said deputies as follows: that is 
to say, the said agents do agree to pay to the said deputies the sum 
of One thousand dollars for the use of the said nation, to be by the 
said deputies paid over to and distributed among the persons and 
families of the said nation, according to their usages, the sum of 
five hundred dollars for the expenses of the said deputies during 
the time they have attended this treaty, and the sum of one hundred 
dollars for their expenses in returning and for carrying the said sum 
of one thousand dollars to where the said nation resides. And the 
said agents do accordingly, for and in 'the name of the People of the 
State of New York, pay the said three several sums to the deputies 
in the presence of the said commissioners. And the said deputies do 
agree to cede and release, and these present witness that they ac- 
cordingly do, for and in the name of the said nation, in consideration 
of the said compensation, cede and release to the people of the State 
of New York, forever, all the right or title of the said nation to lands 
within the said State, and the claim of the said nation to lands within 
the said State is hereby wholly and finally extinguished. 

" ' In testimony whereof, the said commissioner, the said agents, 
and the said deputies have hereunto, and to two other acts of the 
same tenor and date, one to remain with the United States, one to re- 
main with the said State, and one delivered to the said deputies, to 
remain with the said nation, set their hands and seals at the city of 
Albany, in the said State, the twenty-ninth day of March, in the 
year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five.' 

" Signed, sealed, and acknowledged. 

"{Copied from a MSS. volume entitled 'Indian Deede and Treaties, 
1712-1810,' ill the office of Secretary of State, at Albany. Page 187.) 

" Treaties with the Indians for their lands were, by a pro- 
vision of the first constitution of the State, adopted April 20, 
1777, reserved to the legislature. It was therein ordained 

"' That no purchases or contracts for the sale of lands made since 
the 14th day of Oct., 1775, or which may hereafter be made with pr 



of the said Indians -within the limits of this State, shall he binding 
on the said Indians, or deemed valid, uflless made under the author- 
ity and with the consent of the legislature of the State.' (Lawe of 
New Yorh, vol. i. p. 16, 1813.) 

" By an act passed April 4, 1801, it was provided : 

" ' That if any person should, without the authority and consent of 
the legislature, in any manner or form, or on any terms whatsoever, 
purchase any lands within this State of any Indian or Indians re- 
siding therein, or make any contract with any Indian or Indians for 
the sale of any lands within this State, or shall in any manner give, 
sell, demise, convey, or otherwise dispose of any such lands or any 
interest therein, or offer to do so, or shall enter on, or take possession 
of, or to settle on any such lands by pretext or color of any right or 
interest in the same, in consequence of any such purchase or con- 
tract made since the 14th day of Oct., 1775, and not with the au- 
thority and consent of the legislature of this State, every such person 
shall in every such case be deemed guilty of a public offense, and 
shall, on conviction thereof before any court having cognizance of 
the same, forfeit and pay to the people of this State two hundred and 
fifty dollars, and be further punished by fine and imprisonment, at 
the discretion of the court.' 

" The State being accordingly the only party whom the 
Indians could recognize, to them they applied for the settle- 
ment of their claims to lands in the northern part of the 
State. These claims were based upon ancient and primitive 
occupation, and especially upon the rights which they con- 
ceived they had for compensation for services which some 
of them, particularly Col. Louis Cook, their head chief, 
had rendered in the war. The nature and amount of these 
services we will give in our notice of that chief. 

" In 1789 he applied for a confirmation of a tract of 
land in the present town of Massena, which he claimed 
was his own individual right, and this was subsequently 
confirmed to him by the legislature. In 1792, the Caugh- 
nawaga and St. Regis tribes, claiming to represent the 
Seven Nations of Canada, sent a deputation to the governor 
of the State of New York to assert their claims, but this 
embassy produced no action in their favor. 

" As we shall have frequent occasion to allude to these 
Seven Nations, it would be well to understand who and 
what they were ; but here our knowledge is less definite 
than might be desired, especially in relation to the origin 
of the term and of the league or combination of tribes of 
which it consisted. They appear to have been made up 
of several of the detached settlements of Iroquois emi- 
grants from New York, and of Algonquins, etc., whom the 
Catholic missionaries had domiciliated and settled in vil- 

" The St. Regis branch did not originally form, it is said, 
one of the seven, which consisted, according to the Rev. P. 
Marooux, of an Iroquois, an Algonquin, and a Nippissing 
nation at the Lake of Two Mountains ; an Iroquois tribe at 
Caughnawaga ; the Oswegatchie tribe of Iroquois at La Pre- 
sentation ; a colony of Hurons at Lorette, nine miles north 
of Quebec ; and a settlement of Ahenalds at St. Francois, 
below Monti'eal, near the Sorel. 

" After the breaking up of the French at La Presentation 
and the partial dispersion of the Oswegatchies, tradition 
relates that a grand council was held, and it was therein 
resolved that the St. Regis, who had formed a part of the 
Caughnawagas at the formation of the league, should take 
the place of the scattered tribe, and they thenceforth repre- 
sented them in the assemblies. According to the gentlemen 

above mentioned, the tribes which represented, the Seven 
Nations have at present the following numbers (June, 
1852) : 

" At tlie Lake of Two Mountains, of Iroquois, 250 ; at 
the Lake of Two Mountains, of Algonquins and Nippissing, 
together, 250 ; at Caughnawaga, of Iroquois, 1300 ; at St. 
Regis, 1100; at Lorette, of Hurons, a very few; at St. 
Frangois, of AbenaJcis, a few only. The numbers of the 
two latter were not known. 

" Failing in their first negotiation with the State, the Si. 
Regis people prosecuted their claims, and in 1793 again 
appeared, by their deputies, at Albany, and laid their case 
before the governor, but without success. ' The following 
credentials are without date, but are believed to have been 
those furnished these Indians on this occasion : 

" ' The Chiefs at CaJc-ne-wa-ge^ head of the Seven Nations, 
" * To our brother. Commander, and Governor, Ni-haron-ta-go-iua, 
George Clinton, at the State of New York. Brother, this is what we 
agreed upon : that we should have councils and conversations to- 
gether of peace and unity. 

" ' Now, brother, we beg that you will pay attention, that you can 
take the matter into good consideration betwixt you and us. We 
have sent the bearers, which will give you to understand our real 
minds and meaning, which is : 

" ' Thomas Aragrente, 
Thomas Thaeagwanegen, 
Lumen Tiatoharongiven, 
William Gray, 
"* All the chiefs' compliments to you, and beg you will not let the 
bearers want for victuals or drink, as much as may be for their good. 
" ' Tegannitasen, Onasateben, 

Onatritsiawanb, .Onwanienteni, 

Sganawate, Thanaha, 

Tehasen, Sgahentowarone, 

Thaiaiakge, Sinohese, 

Thahentehtha, Saiegisagene, 

Garoniaragon, Garomiatsigowa." 

(Signed by their marks.) 

" This negotiation also failed in its object, and the 
deputies returned home in disappointment. 

" In the winter of 1793-94, Colonel Louis, with three 
other warriors, again repaired to Albany, to get, if possible, 
some specific time designated when the State would meet 
with them for their claim. They held an interview with 
the governor, but he declined at that time any negotiations 
with them on the subject without referring their case to 
the legislature. 

"The journal of the assembly for 1794 (page 106) cod- 
tains the following record in relation to the St. Regis In- 
dians : 

'"Mr. Havens, in behalf of Mr. Foote, from the committee ap- 
pointed to take into consideration the communication made to this 
house by His Excelleney the Governor, relative to the St. liegii tn- 
dians, reported that they have inquired into the several circumstances 
connected with the claim of the said Indians to certain lands within 
the jurisdiction of this Slate, and arc of the opinion that it will b^ 
necessary to appoint commissioners to treat with the said Indians, 
and to authorize them, by law, to extinguish the said claim, or to 
take such measures relative to the said business as shall be most 
beneficial to the State and to tho United States.' 

" The following was the message of the governor above 
alluded to. It was reported on the 21st of February of 
that year : 



"'Gentlemen, — You will receive with this message the oonolasion 
of my conference with the Oneida Indians, and u. copy of an addi- 
tional speech of the Cayiigas, and my answer thereto. 

" ' I also transmit to you a speech made to me by Colonel Louis, of 
St, Regis, who, with three other warriors, arrived here some days 
ago, as a deputation from the chiefs of the Seven Nations of Lower 
Canada. You will perceive by my answer to thorn that I have, for 
the reasons therein mentioned, declined entering into conference with 
them on the subject of their deputation, other than that of receiving 
their communication, which is now submitted to the consideration of 
the legislature. 

"'Geo. Clinton.' 

" So far as we have been able to learn, the course advised 
by the committee was not adopted, and no encouragement 
was given the deputies further than the indefinite and un- 
satisfactory assurance that their claim should be examined 
at as early a day as might be consistent. 

" What the probable result would be might, perhaps, be 
surmised, when we consider that the State had already 
patented to Macomb and his associates the territory claimed 
by these Indians, reserving only a tract equal to six miles 
square, near the Indian village. It is very probable that 
the Indians did not know of this sale, and still honestly 
believed themselves entitled to a large tract in the north 
part of the State. 

" In December, 1794, they again appeared at Albany to 
urge their claim. The governor appears to have been 
absent, and a communication intended for him was deliv- 
ered to John Taylor, of Albany, who addressed the gov- 
ernor the following letter, inclosing that which he had 
received from the Indians : 

" * Albany, 10th January, 1795. 
" ' Sir, — The inclosed message was delivered me by one of the men 
who came down last winter. Col,- Louis, and attended the legislature 
at this place on the subject of their lands. He says he was deputed 
by the Seven Nations for that purpose, and directions to proceed 
to New York if I could not do the business. As a journey to New 
York would have been attended by expense to the State and trouble 
tu you, I promised to transmit the message, and recommended him to 
return home. I am your Excellency's 

" ' Most obedient servant, 

'"John Taylor.' 

" The letter referred to in the foregoing was as follows : 

" • Albany, Decemljer, 1791. 
" ' Newataghsa Lewey. 

" ' Brother, — The Seven Nations of Upper Canada are still of the 
same mind as they were when you spoke with them last winter, but 
they expected you would have met them this summer on the business 
that they came about to your great council last winter. They sup- 
pose that the business of the war, which was expected, prevented 
your meeting of them. They hope you will attend to the business, 
and meet them, as you promised, as early as possible next summer, 
as they are still of the same mind they were when they spoke to you, 
and expect you are so likewise,' 

" The governor accordingly appointed Samuel Jones, Ezra 
IHommedieu, N. Lawrence, Richard Varick, Egbert Ben- 
son, John Lansing, Jr., and James Watson, commissioners, 
io hold an interview with the Indians to settle some pre- 
liminaries with them, but without the power to treat defi- 
nitely with them on the subject. The following is the result 
of their -negotiations, which was addressed to Governor 
Clinton : 

" ' New York, G March, 1795. 

"' Sin, — In consequence of your Excellency's appointment of us to 

that trust, we have this morning had an interview with the eleven 

Indians now in the city, from the nation or tribe distinguished as 

the St. lieijii Indians, or the Indians of the Seven Nations of Can- 

ada, and Colonel Louis, one of their number, as their speaker, made 
a speech to us, purporting that during the last winter they had come 
to Albany, while the legislature was sitting there, and made known 
their desire that a future meeting might be appointed, in order to 
treat, and finally conclude and settle, with them respecting their 
right and claim to lands within the limits of this State; that they 
had returned home with what they received as assurances that such 
future meeting would have been appointed ; that they had waited in 
e.ipectation of it during the whole of the last season ; that they are 
not authorized to treat or conclude therefor; that the only object of 
their present journey is again to propose such meeting, when all the 
chiefs will attend, so that whatever may then be agreed upon should 
be binding on all the tribes. 

" ' To this speech we have deferred giving an answer, supposing it 
most fit that we should previously be informed of the sense of the 
legislature on the subject, it being most probably the interest of both 
houses that the act of the 5th instant should be limited to an agree- 
ment or an arrangement to be made at this time, and with the Indians 
who are now present. 

" ' We have the honor to be, sir, with due respect, your most obe- 
dient, humble servants, 

/"Samdel Jones, Kichahd Vaeick, 

Ezra L'HoKjtEDiEu, Egbert Benson, 

N. Lawuence, John Lansing, Jr., 

James Watson. 

" ' His Excellency, Governor Clinton.' 

" The foregoing communication of the agents was trans- 
mitted to the legislature on March 7, 1795, by the gov- 
ernor, in the following message : 

" ' Gentlemen, — With this message you will receive a communica- 
tion from the agents appointed to confer with the representatives of 
the Si. Regit Indians, which will necessarily require your immediate 

" ' It must readily occur to you that no legislative direction exists 
with respect to the greater part of the expense incident to this 

'"The concurrent resolution of the 3d instant only refers to the 
accommodation of the Indians while in the city, and neither pro- 
vides for the customary gratuities, nor the expenses arising from 
their journey here and their return, 

" ' I also transmit a letter from some of the chiefs of the Onondaga 
nation, respecting the agreement made with them in 1793 by the 
commissioners appointed for the purpose. 

" ' Geo, Clinton. 

' GttEENWicir, 9 March, 1795.' 

"In pursuance of this advice the following resolution was 

introduced in the Senate, and passed : 

"' Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor be requested to di- 
rect that suitable accommodations be provided for twelve St. Regis 
Indians, who are expected in town this afternoon on business relative 
to the claims on the State, and that the legislature will make pro- 
vision for defraying the expense,' 

"On the 9th of March, 1795, the resolution of the Senate 
was referred to the Assembly, and the following record 
appears on their journal : 

" 'Resolved, as the sense of both houses of the legislature, That it 
is advisable a future meeting should be appointed by his Excellency 
the Governor to be held with the Indians generally known and dis- 
tinguished as the Indians of St, Regis, in order to treat, and finally to 
agree, with the said Indians touching any right or claim which they 
may have to any lands within the limits of this State; and further, 
that his Excellency the Governor, in addition to the request contained 
in the concurrent resolution of both houses of the third instant, be 
also requested to cause the twelve Indians mentioned in said concur- 
rent resolution to bo furnished with such sum of money as may be 
requisite to defray the expenses of their journey to this city and on 
their return home; and also that his Excellency the Governor be re- 
quested to cause such presents or gratuities as he shall deem proper 
to "be given to the said Indians, in behalf of this State, and that the 
Legislature will make the requisite provision for carrying these reso- 
lutions into effect. 



" ' Ordered, That the consideration of the said resolutions be post- 
poned until to-raorrow.' 

"The agents appointed by the governor held another 
interview with the Indians, and the speeches that were ex- 
changed on the occasion are preserved, and were as follows : 

"'speech op the agents for the state of new YORK TO COLONEL 

" ' Brothers : When we met you, a few days ago, on your arrival in 
this city, we told you our chief the Governor was sick, and that he 
had appointed us to meet you in his stead. 

"'Brothers; We then also bid you welcome, and which we now 
repeat to you. 

" * Brothers ; Ton then told us that you had come to see us, and only 
to propose that there should be another meeting between us and you, 
when all your chiefs would attend, and treat and settle with us about 
land which is within our State, and which you say belongs to you. 

" ' Brothers ; This was the substance of what you then told us, and 
we have told it to our chief the Governor, and our council the Legis- 
lature, and they have listened to it, and have directed us to tell you 
that they very willingly assent to what you have proposed, and that 
a message will be sent to you during the next summer to inform you 
of the time and place, when and where, we will meet you on the busi- 
ness; and we can now only promise that the place will be as near 
where you live as conveniently may be, so as to save you the trouble 
Of a long journey, and that the time will not be later in the next fall 
than when the traveling is good. 

'''Brothers : We wish you in the mean time to possess your minds 
in peace, for it is as much our wish as it is yours that the business 
should be talked over and settled between you and us in friendship 
and integrity, as between brothers ; for as we do not desire any land 
which belongs to you without paying you for it, so we hope you do 
not desire we should pay you for that which does not belong to you. 

"'Brothers: We now bid you farewell for the present, and wish 
you a safe journey home, and that we may meet each other again in 
peace and in health at the intended future meeting.' 

" To this speech of the commissioners the St. Regis 
Indians, through Colonel Louis, their speaker, replied as 
follows : 

'"Brothers ; It is usual when brothers meet, if it is even the next 
day, to thank Providence for preserving each of them so as to meet 

" ' Brothers : We are very thankful that you have taken so much 
pity on your brothers, who have come so great a distance to see you 
that they were almost barefooted and uncovered; and you, at our first 
arrival in the city, gave us a pair of shoes and a hat each, for which 
we are thankful. 

'"Brothers : When we first arrived hero we told you the business 
we had come upon, and which we had come upon several seasons be- 
fore, and particularly last winter. You then promised that you would 
meet us, but you have not done it. We have business at home as well 
as you, brothers, and for that reason we request you to consider about 
the matter deliberately. 

"' Brothers, — We think it is a long time hence that you have fixed 
upon. We told you when we came that we had other business with 
the king, who also is on our lands. _ All the other nations to the west- 
ward are concerned in that business, and I expect I have that to see 
to, as they depend on my council. If that should take place at the 
same time as yours it will be inconvenient ; we therefore wish to have 
our business with you first settled before we settle with the kin». 

" ' Brothers, — We were at Albany when you received the speech of 
the king; I then told you the minds of our chiefs upon that subject, 
for I know it. 

'"You told us then your minds wore to do us justice, and that made 
our breasts cool. We returned home and told the king to perform 
the promise he had made to us.' [Here Col. Louis produced a printed 
proclamation, in parchment, by the late Sir William Johnson.] ' For 
this reason we expect our matters with you first settled. For the 
king told us that about midsummer he would come and settle with us 
for the lands of ours which he had possessed and improved. 

" •■ Then, brothers, we shall be able to come and inform you how we 
have settled with him.' 

" The Legislature, by an act passed March 5, 1785, pro- 
vided : 

" ' That it shall and may be lawful for the person administering the 
government of this State, either by himself or by such agent or agents 
as he shall thereunto appoint, to make such agreement and arrange- 
ments with the Indians of St. Regis, or with the representatives of 
the said Indians, respecting their claims to any lands within this 
State, or any part or parts thereof, as shall tend to insure their good- 
will and friendship to the people of the United States, and to extin- 
guish any and every such claim, nnd in such manner as he or such 
agents so to be appointed may think proper ; but no such agreement 
or arrangement by such agents shall be valid unless ratified and con- 
firmed by the person administering the government of this State, any 
thing in the "act relative to Indians residentwithin the State," passed 
the 27th of March, 1794, to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.' 

" The act here referred to was a law relative to the In- 
dians residentwithin the State, which appointed the gover- 
nor, with William North, John Taylor, Abraham Van 
Vechten, Abraham Ten Broek, Peter Gansevoort, Jr., and 
Simeon Dewitt, trustees for the Indians within the State, 
and for each and every tribe of them, with full power to 
make such agreements and arrangements with the tribes of 
central New York, respecting their lands, as shall tend to 
produce an annual income to the said Indians, and to insure 
their good-will and friendship to the people of the United 

" Commissioners were again appointed, who met the 
deputies at Fort George, at the south end of Lake George, 
in September, 1795, where an interview was held, but 
without arriving at satisfactory results, or an agreement 
between the parties. We have not been able to procure the 
speeches that were made on this occasion, or what tran- 
spired between them, further than the intimations contained 
in the following pages. 

" The results were communicated by the agents of the 
State to Governor Jay, who, in the month of January, 
transmitted the following message to the legislature : 

"'Gentlemen, — I have now the honor of laying before you the 
proceedings af a treaty with the Indians, denominated the Seven 
Nations of Canada, comprising those usually denominated the St. 
Regis Indians, held at the south end of Lake George, in this State, 
on the 26th day of September last, with a letter of the 2d instant, 
from the agents who were appointed to attend it on the part of the 

"'It appears from the above-mentioned letter that the expenses in- 
cident to the said treaty have been paid, and the accounts duly 
audited and passed, except the allowance usually made by the United 
States to the commissioners whom they employ for holding treaties 
with Indians. 

"'The compensation due to the said agents for their services still 
remains to be ascertained and ordered by the legislature. 

" 'John Jay.' 

"'New York, January 23, 1796. 

" March 26, 1796, the governor transmitted to the legis- 
lature a message, accompanying a letter from the department 
of war, dated the 19th inst., together with the report of the 
secretary of state on the subject of claims made by the 
Indians called the Seven Nations of Canada to lands within 
the State. 

"This message, with the accompanying papers, was re- 
ferred to the committee of the whole, and subsequently to 
a joint committee of the two houses, who reported, on the 
1st of April, as follows : 

" ' That although the several matters stated by the agents of this 
State to the said Indians at the late treaty held with Ihem at Lake 



George are to bo relied on as true, and to be considered as sufficient 
to prevent the supposition that the said Indians have a right to lands 
claimed by them, and that although these matters both in respect to 
fact and inference remain unanswered by the said Indians, yet that it 
■ffill be proper whenever a treaty shall be held for the purpose by the 
United States with the said Indians that Agents for this State should 
again attend, in order further to examine and discuss the said claim, 
and, if they shall deem it eligible, then also further to propose and 
adjust with the said Indians the compensation to bo made by this 
State for the said claim.' 

" This resolution met with the concurrence of the house. 

" In pursuance of this concurrent resolution of the sen- 
ate and assembly, the governor appointed Egbert Benson, 
Richard Varick, and Jas. Watson agents on the part of 
the State to meet the deputies of the St. Regis and Caugli- 
nawaga tribes, who then claimed, and have since been 
recognized by the State, to be the representatives of the 
Seven Nations of Canada, to negotiate, in the presence of a 
commissioner appointed by the government of the United 
States, for the extinguishment of the Indian title to lands 
in the northern part of the State. The following is an 
account of the proceedings at this treaty, which we derive 
from the original manuscript in> the office of the secretary 
of state at Albany : 

" * At a treaty held at the city of New York by the United, States 
with the nations of Indians denominating themselves the seven 
nations of Canada, Abraham Ogden, commissioner for the United 
States, appointed to hold the treaty, Obnawiio, alias Good Stream, a 
chief of the CaugknawagaSf Oteatohatongwan, alias Colonel Louis 
Cook, a chief of the St. Regis Indians, Teholagwanegen, alias 
Thomas Williams, a chief of the CanghtiawagaSj and William Gray, 
deputies authorized to represent these nations or tribes at the treaty, 
and Mr. Gray also serving as interpreter. 

" * Egbert Bensen, Richard Varick, and James Watson, agents for 
the State of New York. 

"^ May 23, 1796. 

"*The deputy, Thomas Williams, being confined to his lodging in 
this city by sickness, was unable to be present; the other three dep- 
uties proposed, nevertheless, to proceed to the business of the treaty. 
The commissioner thereupon informed them generally that he was 
appointed to hold the treaty ; that the sole object of it was to enable 
the State of New York to extinguish by purchase the claim or right 
of these nations or tribes of Indians to lands within the limits of the 
State ; and that, agreeably to his instructions from the president, he 
would take care that the negotiations for that purpose between the 
agents for the State and the Indians should be conducted with candor 
and fairness/ " 

After a great amount of negotiating, and many long 
speeches on both sides, continued through a period of eight 
days, the deputies on behalf of the Indians accepted the 
terms of the commissioners on the last day of May, as 
appears from the following : 

•^'31st May, 1796. 

"'The deputies having declared their acceptance of the compensa- 
tion, as proposed to them by the agents, three acts of the same tenor 
and date, one to remain with the United States, another to remain 
with the said Seven Nations or tribes, and another to remain with 
the State, were thereupon this day executed by the commissioners for 
the United States, the deputies for the Indians,, the agents for the 
State, and Daniel McCormick and William Constable for themselves 
and their associates' purchase under Alexander Macomb, containing 
a cession, release, and quitclaim from the Seven Nations or tribes of 
Indians of all lands within the State, and a covenant for the State 
for the payment of the said compensation, and also certain reserva- 
tions of land, to be applied to the use of the Indians of the village 
of St, Regis, as by the said acts, reference being had to either of them, 
more fully may appear. 

" ' Signed, Abram Ogden. 

"The following is a copy of this treaty : 

" ' The People of the State of New York, by the grace of God free and inde- 
pendent. To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Know ye that 
we having inspected the records remaining in our Secretary's ofBce, do find there 
filed a certain instrument in the words following, to wit: 

"*At a treaty held in the city of New York with the nation or tribe of 
Indians denominating themselves the Seven Nations of Canada, Abraham 
Ogden, commissioner appointed under the authority of the United States to 
hold the treaty, Ohnaweio, alias Good Stream, Teharagwanegen, alias Thos. 
"Williams, two chiefs of the Caugfinawaga^f Atiatoharongwan, (iliae Colonel Louis 
Cook, a chief of the St. Regis Indians, and 'William Gray, deputies authorized 
to represent these Seven Nations or tribes of Indians at the treaty, and Mr. 
Gray serving also as interpreter, Egbert Benson, Richard Varick, and James 
Watson, agents for the State of New York, Wm, Constable and Daniel McCor- 
mick, purchasers under Alex. Macomb. The agents for the State having in 
the presence and with the approbation of the commissioners proposed to the 
deputies for the Indians the compensation hereinafter mentioned for the ex- 
tinguishment of their claim to all lands within the States, and the said deputies 
being willing to accept the same, it is thereupon granted, agreed, and concluded 
between the said deputies and the said agents as follows: The said deputies do 
for and in the name of the said Seven Nations or tribes of Indians cede, re- 
lease, and quitclaim to the people of the State of New York, forever, all the 
claim, right, or title of them, the said Seven Nations or tribes of Indians, to 
lands within the said State; provided, nevertheless, that the tract equal to six 
miles square reserved in the sale made by the commissioners of the land-office 
of the said State to Alexander Macomb, to be applied to the use of the Indians 
of the village of St. Regis, shall still remain so reserved. Tlie' said agents do 
for and in the name of the people of the State of New York grant to the said 
Seven Nations or tribes of Indians that the people of the State of New York 
shall pay to them at the mouth of the river Chazy, on Lake Champlain, on the 
third Monday of August next, the sum of one thousand two hundred and three 
pounds, six shillings, and eightpence, lawful money of the said State; and on 
the tliird Monday in August, yearly, forever thereafter, the further sum of two 
hundred and thirteen pounds, six shiUinga, and eightpence of the said State. 
Provided, nevertheless, that the people of the State of New York shall not be 
held tu pay the said sums unless, in respect to the two sums to be paid on the 
third Monday in August next, at least twenty, and in respect to the said yearly 
sum to be paid thereafter, at least five, of the principal men of the said Seven 
Nations or tribes of Indians shall attend as deputies to receive and to give re- 
ceipts for the same. The said deputies having suggested that the Indians of 
St. Regis have built a mill on Salmon river and another on Grass river, and 
that the meadows on Gi'ass river are necessary for hay, in order, therefore, 
to secure to the Indians of the said village the use of the said mills and meadows, 
in case they should hereafter appear not to be included in the above tract, so 
as to remain reserved, it- is therefore also agreed and concluded between the 
said deputies and tlie said agents and the said William Constable and Daniel 
McCormick, for themselves and their associates, purchasers under the said 
Alexander Macomb of the adjacent lands, that there shall be reserved to be 
applied to the use of the Indians of the said village of St. Regis, in like manner 
as the said tract is to remain reserved, a tract of one mile square at each of the 
said mills, and the meadows on both sides of the said Grass river, from the said 
mills thereon to its confluence with the river St. Lawrence. 

" ' In testimony whereof, the said Commissioners, the said deputies, the said 
agents, and the said William Constable and Diiniel McCormick, have hereunto, 
and to two other acts of the same tenor and date, one to remnin with the United 
States, another to remain with the State of New York, and another to remain 
with the Seven Nations or tribes of Indians, set their hands and seals in the 
city of New York, the thirty-first day of May, in the twentieth year of the 
Independence of the United States, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six. 
Abraham Ogden (L.S.), Ohnaweio, alius Good Stream (mark L.S.), Otiatoha- 
rongwan, alias Colonel Louis Cook (mark L.S.), Wm. Gray (L.S.), Teharagwa- 
negen, alias Thos. Williams (mark L.S.), Egbert Benson (L.S.), Richard Varick 
(L.S.), James Watson (L.S.), "Wm. Constable (L.S.), Daniel McCormick (L.S.). 

"'Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of Samuel Jones, recorder 
of the city of New York; John Taylor, recorder of the city of Albany ; Jo's 
Ogden Hoffmann, attorney-general of the State of New York. 

" ' May 30, 1797. Acknowledged before John Sloss Hobart, justice of supreme 
court of judicature, " ^ 

"*Feb. 28, 1800, Exemplified, signed, and sealed by the Governor, John Jay.' 

** The above treaty is engrossed upon a large-sized sheet, 
of parchment, to which is affixed a large waxen seal, having 
on one side the State arms and inscription, ' The great seal 
of the State,' and on the other the device of waves beating 
against a rock, and the word ' Frustra,' ' 1798.' The back 
and margins are covered with receipts. 

*' This and other treaties which have been held between 
the St. Regis Indians and the State of New York are 
carefully preserved by the clerk of the American party at 
St. Regis. 

" The agreements made at this treaty were confirmed by 



an act passed April 4, 1801. The act allows of a treaty 
for the purchase of the mill site at Masseaa, St. Lawrence 

" This treaty had previously received the sanction of the 
general government, as appears from the following : 

" On the 20th of February, 1797, the governor sent to 
the Senate the following message : 

"'G-ENTLEMEN, — I have the honor of laying before you a letter of 
the 18th ult., from the Secretary of the United States, for the depart- 
ment of war, inclosing a copy of the resolution of the Senate advising 
and consenting to the ratification of the treaty concluded on behalf 
of the State with the Indians calling themselves the Seven Nations 
of Canada. "'JohsJay.' 

" In the negotiations between these Indians and the State 
the name of Brant, the celebrated partisan half-breed Indian, 
was used in connection with proceedings which the Mohawks 
had held with the State, in the cession of tlieir lands, in 
such a manner as to awaken a controversy between him 
and the deputy superintendent, which ultimately became 
embittered by mutual allegations of pecuniary delinquency. 
The Six Nations had bargained with Colonel Livingston, in 
1787. as we have previously stated, for a large tract of land, 
which the Caughnawaga and St. Regis Indians insisted was 

" As Brant was a witness to the treaty, and was one of 
the most prominent of those by whom it was made, this 
denial of their right amounted to little else than a charge 
that those who made it had pocketed the avails for their 
own benefit. This charge Brant indignantly repelled, 
denying that the Caughnawagas had a right to a foot of 
the lands which had been sold to Livingston, and demand- 
ing of them their authority for their charges against him 
and tlie Grand River Indians. They replied that their 
information was derived from the representations of the 
officers of the State of New York, at. Albany. To ascer- 
tain the ground there might be for this he addressed a letter 
to Governor Clinton, which received the following reply : 

" ' Greenwich, Dec. 1, 1799. 
- '"Deab Sir, — On my return from the country, about a month 
ago, I was favored with your letter of the 4th of September. I am 
much gratified by the determination you express of furnishing Doctor 
Miller with the information he requested of you, and I hope, as the 
work for which it is wanted is progressing, you will find leisure to do 
it soon. I am confident he will make a fair and honorable use of it- 
and, as far as he shall be enabled, correct the erroneous representa- 
tions of former authors respecting your nations. 

" ' I am surprised to find that you have not received my letter of 
the llth of January last. It was inclosed and forwarded as re- 
quested, to Mr. Peter W. Yates, of Albany. Had it reached you, I 
presume you will find, from the copy I now inclose, it would have 
been satisfactory ; but as a particular detail of what passed between 
the Canuhnawfitjat and me respecting their lands may be more 
agreeable, I will now repeat it to you as far as my recollection will 
enable me. 

" ' In the winrer of 1792-93, our legislature being in session in Al- 
bany, u. committee from the Seven Nations or tribes of Lower 
Canada attended there, with whom I had several conferences. They 
complained that some of our people had settled on their lands near 
Lake Champlain and on the river St. Lawrence, and requested that 
commissioners might be appointed to inquire into the matter and 
treat with them on the subject. In my answer to their speeches I 
answered that it was difficult to define their rights and their bounda- 
ries, and that it was to be presumed that the Indian rights to a con- 
siderable part of the lands on the borders of the lake had boon 
extinguished by the French government before the conquest of 

Canada, as those lands, or a greater part of them, had been granted 
to individuals by that government before that period. In their reply 
they, described their southern boundary as commencing at a creek or 
run of water between Forts Edward and George, which emptieS'into 
South Bay, and from thence extending on a direct line to a large 
meadow or swamp where the Canada creek, which empties into the 
Mohawk opposite Fort Hendrick, the Black and Oswegatchie rivers 
have their sources. . Upon which I observed to them that this line 
would interfere with lands patented by the British government pre- 
vious to the Revolution, and particularly mentioned Totten and 
Crossfield's purchase and Jessup's patent; but I mentioned at the 
same time that I was neither authorized or disposed to controvert 
their claims; that I would submit to the legislature, who, I could not 
doubt, would pay due attention to them and adopt proper measures to 
eEfect a settlement with them upon fair and liberal terms. This I 
accordingly did, and some time after commissioners were appointed 
to treat with them in the presence of an agent of the United States^ 
the result of which I find-you are informed of. 

" ' I believe you will readily agree that no inference could be drawn 
from anything that passed on the above occasion to countenance the 
charge made against your nations. The mentioning and interference 
of their boundaries, as above stated, with tracts patented under the 
British government could certainly have no allusion to the cessions 
made by the Six Nations or either of them to the State, especially .as 
(if I recollect right) those cessions are of the territory of the respect- 
ive nations, by whom they were made without defining them by any 
particular boundaries, and subject only to the reservations described 
in the deed. 

"'I wish it was in my power to transmit to you copies of their 
speeches and my answer at full length ; but it is not,for the reasons 
mentioned in my former letter. Should they, however, be deemed 
necessary to you, I will endeavor to procure and forward them; in 
the mean time you may rest assured that what I have related is the 
substance of them. 

" * I am, with great regard and esteem, 

*' ^ Your most obedient servant, 

'"Col. JosBi'H Brant. "'Geo. CliSton.' 

" This correspondence, and that which ensued with Gov- 
ernor Jay, did not satisfy Brant, and he accordingly caused 
a deputation of his tribe to repair to Albany, at the head 
of which was his adopted nephew, John Norton, to meet 
a similar deputation of the Caughnawagas face to face, 
and require his accusers connected with the government of 
the State of New York either to substantiate their charges 
or acquit him in the presence of both delegations. 

" The result of this double mission is not known, save 
that the chiefs were not satisfied with it. 

"In July of the same year (1799) Brant proceeded to 
the Caughnawaga country in person, accompanied by a body 
of chiefs of several of the tribes, for the purpose of a 
thorough investigation in general council. Such a council 
was convened, and the difficulties, from the reports of speeches 
preserved in writing by Captain Bnint, were fully discussed ; 
and that, too, in a most amicable manner. From several inti- 
mations in these speeches, it appears that the whole of these 
difficulties had been caused by ' chattering birds,' and by the 
machinations against Captain Brant of the old Oneida 
sachem, Colonel Louis.* The council fire was kindled on 
the 8th of July; on the 9th, Captain Brant was satisfied 
by the explanation given, and remarked, 'that he had 
pulled up a pine and planted down beneath it the small bird 
tliat tells stories.' 

"OnthelOththe Cuii^'/iHawajra chief replied: 'Brothers, 
we return you thanks ; we also join with you to put the 

» We quote the language of Stone in bis "Life of Brant." This 
author was mistaken in supposing Col. I^ouis an Oneida Indian. 



chattering bird under ground from where the pine was 
taken up, there being a swift stream into which it will fall 
beneath that will take it to the big sea, from whence it never 
can return.', (^See Stone's Life of Brant, vol. ii.p. 410, 

" The evident partiality of the writer of the ' Life of Brant' 
has, perhaps, prevented him from giving to the Canada 
Indians their due in discussing, their claims to the lands in 
the northern part of the State. 

" The St. Regis people having decided the question of the 
amount of land they were to receive, were desirous of having 
the boundaries known. To settle definitely, however, their 
rights, they addressed the following letter to the governor : 

" ' To our Great Brother, John Jay, Governor of the State of New York. 
" * Brother, — We, the chiefs and chief warriors at St. Regis, have 
sent the Bearers, Louis Cook, Sag Shaketlay, Loren Tarbell, and 
William Gray, our interpreters, to inquire of you, Brother, how wo 
are to know the distance of our E-cserve, equal to six miles square, 
reserved to us by a treaty held at the city of New York, the 30th of 
May, 1796, with our deputies Louis Cook, Ohnaweio, Good Stream, 
Thomas Williams, and William Gray, and another reserve of one 
mile square on Salmon Creek, twelve miles below St. Regis, at a saw- 
mill belonging to us chiefs. 

" ' Brother, — The reason of our sending the Bearers to you is, that 
some time in the latter part of last fall, some of your children, our 
brothers of this State, were marking and running lines within what 
we expect is our reserved lands, and we know no other way but to 
come and inform you that we might know what to do, and we beg 
that you will inform the Bearers that they, as soon as is convenient 
to you, may return home and inform us what to do. 

" ' We hope you will-not let the Bearers want for victuals and drink, 
what will be for their good. We wish you health and happiness with 
your family. From your Brothers, the chiefs of St. Regis. 

" ' For the Chiefs at " ' Tio-na-to-gena, 

St. Regis, William Gray. Tha-ros-ia-he-.\e, 


" This petition led to the passage, on the 30th of March, 
1799, of the following act : 

" * The surveyor-general "be, and he is hereby directed in his proper 
person, to lay out and survey, in such manner as the chiefs of the 
St. Regis Indians shall deem satisfactory, all the lands, reserved to 
the said Indians by the treaty held at the city of New York, and 
conformable thereto, the twenty-third day of May, in the year one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety-six ; and the treasurer is hereby 
required to pay him, out of any money in the treasury, four hun- 
dred dollars to defray the expense thereof, which sum the surveyor- 
general shall account for with the comptroller.' 

" The surveyor-general performed this duty, and reported 
as follows : 

■"'Sir — Pursuant to the act of the legislature, directing the sur- 
•veyorrgeneral to lay out and survey the lands .reserved to the Indians 
reaidiD" at St. Regis, I have surveyed in a manner satisfactory to 
the chiefs of that tribe the tract, equal to six miles square, reserved 
to them at their village ; as also the two tracts of one mile square 
each at the mills on Salmon river and Grass river. Maps descriptive 
of the bonndaj-ies of these I have the, honor herewith to deliver. 

" ' When I was about to commence the survey of the meadows re- 
served to the use of these Indians on Grass river, they informed me 
in council that they considered themselves entitled to a tract of half 
a mile on each aide of the river, from its mouth up to the mill, and 
that they had caused it to be run out in that manner for their meadow 
reservation, and intimated a desire that my survey should be made 
in a corresponding manner. I was obliged to inform them that I 
had no guide but their treaty, and consequently could regard no sur- 
vey made without authority, and that nothing but the meadows 
barely, along that river, was pointed out as their property. They 
then, poiatedly desired me to make no marks on that ground, observ- 

ing at the same time that as a deputation from their nation would 
have to repair to Albany on other business, during the sitting of the 
Legislature, they wished by that opportunity to obtain an explana- 
tion of what they considered to be a misapprehension between the 
parties of the treaty, 

" ' Not being permitted to make a survey of the meadows, I availed 
myself of the opportunity of going up and down the river, of mak- 
ing an estimate of them, with a view to report the same as an article 
of information that might be serviceable in case a compromise re- 
specting them should be contemplated. 

" ' These meadows consist of narrow strips along the margin of the 
river, where inundations have prevented the growth of timber. They 
lie in a number of patches, of from half a chain to three or four 
chains in width, making in the whole extent, which is about .«ix miles, 
not exceeding sixty acres altogether, as nearly as I could judge.'^"" 

" ' The grass on them, with small exceptions, is all wild grass. Their 
value, though of no very great consideration as an appendage to the 
adjoining lands, is however esteemed as almost inestimable by In- 
dians, who consider the clearing of land as a matter entirely beyond 
their power to accomplish. It will be impossible, moreover, that the 
Indians should ever inclose the meadows with fences so as to prevent 
their destruction by the cattle of the white inhabitants, who soon 
will settle thick in their neighborhood, and this will inevitably become 
the cause of disagreeable differences. 

" ' It is proper for me to observe that the ground on which these 
meadows are situated as well as the mile square at the mill on Grass 
river, has been patented in tracts distinct from Macomb's purchase ; 
and therefore the sanction which the proprietors of that purchase 
gave to the treaty will' not exonerate the State from the duty of 
compensating the owners of the lands from whjch these parts of the 
reservation are taken. 

[The remainder of the report relates to other subjects.] 

" ' Simeon De Witt.' 

'"Albanv, January 14, 1800. 

" The troubles from trespass anticipated in the above 
were soon realized ; for the particulars of these the reader 
is referred to our account of Massena. 

" On February 20, 1800, there was received in as- 
sembly, from the senate, a resolution : 

" * That the commissioners of the land oflBce be directed to settle 
with the St. Regis Indians for such tracts of land, included in the 
lands confirmed to them by the late treaty, and before located by in- 
dividuals, and granted by this State, by making compensation for 
the lands so granted, or by satisfying the individuals owning such 
lands in such manner as they shall judge most advantageous to the 
State, and the Legislature will make provision for carrying into 
effect any agreement which may be made by the commissioners for 
extinguishing the claims of the said Indians, or of the individual 
proprietors aforesaid.' 

" This resolution was postponed by the assembly, nor is 
it known what was the final action of the legislature upon it. 

" On the 9th of April, 1801, a law was passed making it 
lawful for the governor to cause a treaty to be holden with 
the St. Regis Indians, for the purpose of extinguishing their 
right to a tract of a mile square at the mill on Grass river, and 
for that purpose to appoint an agent on the part of the 
State, and procure the appointment of a commissioner on 
the part of the United States, to attend the holding of such 
treaty. Provided, that the consideration to be paid the 
said Indians for the said tract shall not exceed a permanent 
annuity of $200. A sum not exceeding $500 was appro- 
priated to defray the expense of holding this treaty. 

" The surveyor-general was directed to cause the meadows 
reserved to the use of the said Indians upon Grass river, 
and which had been disposed of by the State, to be sur- 

» When surveyed in 1845, they were found to contain 210 4-10 
acres.. .. . '. 



veyed, and the quantity ascertained, and to report the same 
to the legislature at the next session. It was further made 
lawful for the agent to extinguish the right of ferriage be- 
longing to the said Indians over the river St. Lawrence, 
adjoining their reservation, for such reasonable annuity as 
they may deem proper. 

" The -future payments of the annuity stipulated with 
the said Indians was directed to be made at the town of 
Plattsburgh, in the county of Clinton. The act referred to 
makes a provision for the patenting by the State to William 
Gray of two hundred and fifty-seven acres of land, including 
the mill on Salmon river. 

" The president of the United States, by a message 
making sundry noininations, and addressed to the senate, 
February 2, 1802, recommended the nomination of John 
Taylor, of New York, to be a commissioner to hold a treaty 
between the State of New York and the St. Regis Indians. 

" He was led to this, from having received a communi- 
cation from the governor of New York, purporting that the 
St. Regis Indians had proposed ceding one mile square, in- 
cluding the ferry, to the State of New York, and requesting 
a commissioner to be appointed on the part of the United 
States to sanction the business, which it was proposed 
should be accomplished during the ensuing winter at 

" In 1802 agents were appointed to treat with the St. 
Regis Indians for the sale of their mile square and meadows. 
The following communication, made to the assembly by 
Governor Clinton, March 15, 1802, contains the results of 
their negotiations. It was first reported to the senate : 

" * Gentlemkn, — I now submit to the legislature the report of the 
agents appointed to treat with the St. Regin Indians for the extin- 
guishment of the mile square and the meadows on Grass river. I 
also present to you a petition from those Indians praying, among 
other things, for legislative provisions to enable them to lease a part 
of their lands to establish a ferry across the St. Regis river, and to 
apply the income to the support of a school for the instruction of 
their children. It may be proper to observe that, as the petitioners 
have uniformly evinced a warm attachment to the State, and have 
made uncommon advances towards civilization, they have a claim 
to the attention of the legislature, arising as well from principles of 
policy as benevolence. They discover an anxiety to return home as 
soon as possible, but at the same time are unwilling to leave this 
city until the result of their application to the legislature is known. 

'"Geo. Cli.nton.' 

" The report of the agents referred to in his Excellency's 
said message, and the petition of the St. Regis Indians, 
■were also severally read, and together with the message 
referred to the committee of the house. The petition was 
as follows : 

"'to our great and honorable brother, JOHN JAY, GOVERNOR 

"'Brother, — We, the chiefs and warriors of the village of St. 
Regis, have sent the bearers, Colonel Louis Cook, Jacob Francis, 
Peter Tarbell, as deputies, and William Gray as interpreter, to act 
and settle all business for us that may concern this State, or us, the 
above-mentioned village, or any individual belonging to this State. 

" ' Firsily, we beg you, brother, to order means to have our meadows 
on Grass river surveyed, and the number of acres contained there, 
to have as many acres cleared near our village, within the reservation 
made to us by this State, and then to have the use of the meadows 
on Grass river till such time as those lands will be fit to mow grass 

* "American State Papers," Indian Affairs, vol. i. p. 565. 

" ' Secondly, brother, we wish to inform you that, at the west end of 
our meadows on Grass river, we have one square mile of land, like- 
wise reserved to us by the State, with a saw-mill in the centre of the 
mile square, for which Amable Foshee is bound to pay us the sum of 
two hundred dollars per year as long as he keeps it in his custody, 
and we are not satisfied with his usage to us. 

" ' Thirdly, brother, there is a route that leads from Plattsburgh, on 
Lake Champlain, crosses the Chateaugay river, and comes straight 
to the village of St. Regis, where there ought to be a ferry kept up 
for the accommodation of the public, and the use of this ferry is like 
to create quarrels and disputes. 

'"Now, brother, in order to prevent all these disagreeable conten- 
tions, we wish to propose to you for to take one hundred acres, and 
the privilege of the ferry, and where there may be a good potash 
works erected for those people who wish to give us two hundred and 
fifty dollars as a yearly rent. 

'"i^oMri/i^y, brother, we wish to inform you that there are nine 
miles between houses, however the route runs through our reserva- 
tion, and we mean to rent a part of our lands in order to make it 
convenient for travelers, and as some benefit to ourselves and chil- 
dren who may follow us, and we began to inform all our brothers 
who may see fit to rent the lands of us, that we expect they will pay 
their rents according to contract, as you have law and justice in your 
power, and we are not acquainted with our brother white people's 

" ' Fifthly, brother, there is a request from your sisters of the vil- 
lage of St. Regis, the women of families, which is that you pity 
them, and send them a school-master to learn their children to read 
and write. 

" ' Brother, your compliance to these requests will cause us ever to 
pray youi welfare and happiness, who remain your brothers, chiefs, 
and their wives in the St. Regis, 

" ' Te-ha-ton-wen-heon-gatha, 


On-w A- ri-en-te, 
"' Witness, William Gray. 

" Accordingly, two laws were enacted relating to these 
people at the ensuing session of the legislature. The first 
was passed March 8, 1802, which provided, 'that it shall 
and may be lawful for his Excellency the Governor, and 
the surveyor-general, to treat with the St. Regis Indians 
for the extinguishment of their claim to the mile square, 
and the meadows on Grass river, ceded to them in 1796, 
on such terms as they shall deem most conducive to the 
interests of the State, or to purchase the same from the 
individuals to whom it has been granted by the State 
before it was ceded to the said Jndians, in case the latter 
purchase can be made on more favorable terms than the 
extinguishment of the Indian claim.' 

" The meadows were subsequently purchased of the pat- 
entees for the Indians. During the same session an act 
was passed relating to the St. Regis Indians, March 26, 
1802, as follows: 

" ' J3e it enacted by the people of the State of New York, in Senate and 
Assembly, That William Gray, Louis Cook, and Loren Tarbell, be- 
longing to the tribe of the St. Regis Indians, be and they are hereby 
appointed trustees for the said tribe, for the purpose of leasing the 
ferry over St. Regis river, with one hundred acres of land adjoining, 
and also one mile square of land on Grass river, within their reserva- 
tion within this State, for such term of time as they shall judge 
proper, not exceeding ten years, and it shall and may be lawful for 
the said trustees to apply the rents and profits of the said ferry and 
lands for the support of a school for the instruction of the children of 
the said tribe (of which the said trustees shall have the superintend- 
ence) and for such other purposes as the said trustees shall judge 
most conducive to the interests of the said tribe, and the powers 



hereafter veated in the said trustees may be exercised by them or any 
two of them. 

" ' And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the 
said St. Hegis Indians, on the first Tuesday of May next, and on the 
iirst Tuesday of May in every year thereafter, to hold a town-meeting 
on their said reservation within the State, and by a majority of male 
Indians, above twenty-one years of age, to choose a clerk, who shall 
keep Order in such meeting, and enter in a book, to bo provided by 
him for that purpose, the proceedings of the said meetings. 

" * And be it further enacted, That it shall be made lawful for the 
said tribe, at any such meeting aforesaid, to make such rules, orders, 
and regulations respecting the improvement of any other of their 
lands in the said reservation as they shall judge necessary, and 
to choose trustees for carrying the same into execution, if they shall 
judge suoh trustees to he necessary. 

" ' And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the 
said William Gray, Louis Cook, and Loren Tarbell to procure a bell 
for the church belonging to the said tribe, to be paid for out of their 

'^ ' And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for 
the person administering the government of this State to cause to 
be sent to the said tribe, at the place where their annuity is paid, two 
suits of silk colors, one with the arms of the United States, and the 
arms of this State as a gratuity, and to draw a warrant on the treas- 
ury for the expenses of the same.' 

" On the approach of the war the situation of St. Regis, 
on the national boundary; placed these people in a peculiar 
and delicate position. Up to this period, although residing 
in both governments,4hey had been as one, and in their 
internal afiFairs were governed by twelve chiefs, who were 
elected by the tribe, and held their offices for life. 

" The annuities and presents of both governments were 
equally divided among them, and in the cultivation of their 
lands, and the division of the rents and profits arising from 
leases, they knew no distinction of party. 

" The war operated with peculiar severity against them, 
from the terror of Indian massacre, which the recollections 
and .traditions of former wars had generally inspired the 

" So great was the terror which these poor people excited 
that they could not travel, even where acquainted, without 
procuring a pass, which they were accustomed to obtain 
from any of the principal inhabitants whose names were 
publicly known. A paper stating that the bearer was a 
quiet and peaceable Indian, with or without a signature, 
they were accustomed to solicit, and this they would hold 
up in sight, when still at a distance, that those who might 
meet them should not be alarmed. They were likewise 
accustomed to require persons traveling across their reserva- 
tion to have, if strangers, a pass purporting the peaceable 
nature of their business. The chiefs, it is said, appointed 
certain persons to grant these passes, among whom was 
Captain Polley, of Massena Springs. As few of them could 
read, it became necessary to agree upon some emblem by 
which the signification could be known, and the following 
device was adopted: If a person were going through to 
French Mills, a bow was drawn on the paper, but if its 
bearer was designing to visit St. Regis village, an. arrow 
was added. 

" Thus cut off from their usual means of subsistence, 
they were reduced to a wretched extremity, to obtain relief 
from which Col. Louis repaired to Ogdensburg and sent the 
following letter to frov. Tompkins ; 

* I address you. 

these lines, for the purpose of expressing the sit- 

uation of my nation, and of giving you assurances of our constantly 
cherishing good-will and friendship towards the United States, and 
of our determination not to intermeddle with the war which has 
broken out between them and the English, and which has placed us 
in so critical a situation. Our young men being prevented from 
hunting, and obtaining a subsistence for their families, are in want 
of provisions, and I address myself in their behalf, to the justice and 
liberality of the governor of this State, to obtain a supply of beef, 
pork, and flour, to be delivered to us at St. Regis, during the time 
that we are compelled to give up our accustomed pursuits, which it 
seems, if continued, would give alarm to our white brethren. I have 
come myself to this place to communicate the distressed situation of 
our nation to Col. Benedict, who has promised to submit the same to 
you, and in hopes of soon receiving a favorable answer to my request 
I subscribe myself, with much attachment, your afiectionato brother 
and friend. 

(Signed) " ' Louis >< Cook, 

" ' One of the chiefs of the nation of the St. Jiet/i« Indians, and a It.-cot. 
in the service of the United States of America.' 

" In consequence of the foregoing letter, orders were 
issued that the St. Regis Indians should be supplied with 
rations during the war at French Mills. They accordingly 
received during the war about 500 rations daily at the 
hands of Wareham Hastings, the agent for the government. 

" The Indians, while drawing their rations, begged some 
for their priest, from the best of motives, which the latter 
received as a kindness from them ; but this circumstance 
gave him more trouble than it conferred benefit, for it was 
with the greatest difficulty that lie was able to justify or 
explain this course with the British and ecclesiastical au- 
thorities. He narrowly escaped imprisonment on suspicion 
of receiving bribes from the American government. It 
will be remembered that the priests house is on the Cana- 
dian side of the boundary. 

" In 1812 it was agreed between a British and an Ameri- 
can commissioner that the natives should remain neutral in 
the approaching contest. 

' " It is said that in the month of June, Isaac Le Clare, a 
Frenchman, then and still living at St. Regis, being down 
at Montreal with a raft of wood, was met by an uncle, who 
suggested an interview with the governor, which resulted 
in his receiving a lieutenant's commission, on the recom- 
mendation of Col. De Salaberry. 

" Before his return the British company stationed at St. 
Regis was captured as below stated, and Lieut. Le Clare 
succeeded to the pay but not to the rank of captain, in place 
of Montigney. He raised a company of about 80 Indian 
warriors, and crossed to Cornwall. These Indians partici- 
pated in several engagements during the ensuing war. At 
the taking of Little York they were posted at Kingston. 
At the attack upon Sacket's Harbor twenty British St. 
Regis Indians were present under Lieut. St. Germain, and 
at Ogdensburg, in February, 1813, about thirty of the 
same, under Capt. Le Clare, crossed to the town. At the 
battle of Chrysler's Field they were at Cornwall, and pre- 
vented by Col. McLean, of the British army, from engaging 
in the battle. 

" Chevalier Lorimier, an agent of the British govern- 
ment, in 1813 came up from Montreal with the customary 
presents to the Indians, and offered them on condition of 
their crossing the river and taking up arms against the 
Americans. They would not do this, and he returned with 



his presents. This was after Capt. Le Clare had raised his 
company, or about the time. 

" During the fall of 1812, Capt. Montigney, with a small 
company of British troops, in violation of the previous 
agreement, arrived and took post at St. Regis. Maj. Guil- 
ford Dudley Young, of the Troy militia, stationed at French 
Mills, receiving an account of this, resolved to surprise and 
if possible capture this party, considering himself justified 
in entering upon neutral ground, as the enemy had first 
broken their agreement. He accordingly, about the first of 
October, 1812, proceeded quietly through the woods by an 
obscure path, guided by William Gray, the Indian inter- 
preter ; but on arriving opposite the village of St. Regis he 
found it impossible to cross, and was compelled to return. 

" Having allowed the alarm which his attempt had ex- 
cited to subside, he resolved to make another descent be- 
fore the enemy should be reinforced, and for this purpose 
he marched a detachment, at eleven o'clock at night on the 
21st of October, crossed the St. Regis river at Gray's Mills 
(now Hogansburg) on a rafl of boards, and arrived about 
five o'clock in the morning within half a mile of the vil- 
lage, without attracting the notice of the enemy. Here the 
major made such a judicious disposition of his men that the 
enemy were entirely surrounded, and, after a few discharges, 
surrendered themselves, with the loss of five killed, among 
whom was Captain Rothalte. The fruits of this capture 
were forty prisoners, with their arms and equipments, and 
one stand of colors, two bateaux, etc. They returned to 
French Mills by eleven o'clock the next morning, without 
the loss_of a man, and the prisoners were sent forward to 
Plattsburg. Ex-Governor Wm. L. Marcy held a subor- 
dinate office in this affair. 

" This was the first stand of colors taken by the Amer- 
icans during the war, and these were received at Albany 
with great ceremony. An account of the reception of the 
colors is taken from the Albany Gazette of January, 1813 : 

- " ' On Thursday, the 5th inst., at one o'clock, a detachment of the 
volunteer militia of Troy entered this city with the British colors 
taken at St. Regis. The detachment, with two superb eagles in the 
centre and the British colors in the rear, paraded to the music of 
Yankee Doodle and York Fusileers, through Market and State streets 
to the capitol, the officers and colors in the centre. The remainder 
of the vestibule, and the grand btaircase leading to the hall of justice 
and the galleries of the senate and assembly chambers, were crowded 
with spectators^, His excellency the governor, from illness, being 
absent, his aids. Cols. Lamb and Lush, advanced from the council 
chamber to receive the standards. Upon which. Major Young, in a 
truly military and gallant style, and with an appropriate address, 
presented it to the people of New York ; to which Col. Lush, on the 
part of the State, replied in a highly complimentary speech, and the 
standard was deposited in (he council room, amid the loud huzzas of 
the citizens and military salutes. Subsequently to this achievement 
Major Young was appointed a colonel in the United States army.' 

" This officer was a native of Lebanon, Connecticut. 

"'After the war he entered the patriot service under Gen. Mina 
and lost his life in the struggle for Mexican independence in 1817. 
The patriots, 269 in number, bad possession of a small fort, which 
was invested by a royalist force of 3600 men. The supplies of pro- 
visions and water being out off, the sufferings of the garrison and 
women and children in the fort became intolerable; many of the 
soldiers deserted, so that not more than 150 effective men remained. 
Col. Young, however, knowing the perfidy of the enemy, determined 
to defend the fort to the last. After having bravely defeated the 
enemy in a number of endeavors to carry the fort by storm Col- 

Young was killed by a cannon-shot from the battery raised against 
the fort. On the enemy's last retreat, the colonel, anxious to observe 
all their movements, fearlessly exposed his person by stepping on a 
large stone on the ramparts; and while conversing with Dr. Hennes- 
say on the successes of the day and on the dastardly conduct of the 
enemy, the last shot that was fired from their battery carried off his 
head. Col. Young was an officer whom, next to Mina, the American 
part of the division had been accustomed to respect and admire. In 
every action he had been conspicuous for his daring courage and 
skill. Mina reposed unbounded confidence in him. In the hour of 
danger he was collected, gave his orders with precision, and, sword in 
hand, was always in the hottest of the combat. Honor and firmness 
marked all his actions. He was generous in the extreme, and en- 
dured privations with a cheerfulness superior to that of any other 
officer of the division. He has been in the United States service as 
lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty-ninth Eegiment of Infantry. His 
body was interred by the few Americans who could be spared from 
duty with every possible mark of honor and respect, and the general 
gloom which pervaded the division on this occasion was the sin- ■ 
cerest tribute that could be offered by them to the memory of their 
brave chief.' "^ 

" In the affair at St. Regis the Catholic priest was made 
prisoner, and this surprisal and attack soon after led to a 
retaliatory visit from the enemy, who captured the company 
of militia under Capt. Tilden, stationed at French Mills, a 
short time after. Those who were taken in this affair 
were mostly the identical troops who had been the ag- 
gressors at St. Regis, and for these they were subsequently 

" During the war considerable quantities of pork, flour, 
and cattle, from the State of New York, it is said, were 
brought by night to. St. Regis, and secretly conveyed across 
the river for the subsistence of the British army. These 
supplies were purchased by emissaries under a variety of 
pretexts, and by offering the highest prices. 

" An Indian of the British party at St. Regis was lately 
living who was employed as a secret messenger to carry in- 
telligence, and was very successful in avoiding suspicions 
and in accomplishing his errands. 

" It is a well-known fact that there were American citi- 
zens who secretly countenanced these movements, and who 
openly denounced the war and its abettors ; who hailed a 
British victory as a national blessing, and who mourned 
over the success of the American arms with a pathos that 
proved their sincerity. Impartial truth would require their 
names to be held up to the execration of honest men through 
all coming time, but charity bids us pass them unnoticed, 
that they may perish with their memories. 

" By virtue of powers supposed to be vested in them by 
the law of 1802, the trustees of these Indians had leased 
considerable tracts of the reservation in the vicinity of Sal- 
mon river, which had thus become settled and cleared up ;t 
but this measure was found to produce jars and discords, 
which led to the passage of a general enactment, passed 
June 19, 1812: 

That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons other than 
Indians to settle or reside upon any lands belonging to any nation 
or tribe of Indians within this State; and if any person shall settle 
or reside upon any such lands, contrary to this act, he or she shall be 
deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction, be pun- 
ished by fine not less than twenty-five dollars, nor more than five 

* Sec Barber's "Hist., Coll., and Antiquities of Ct." 
t This was done under the direction of John Hansden, their clerk, 
who was an Irishman, and possessed much influence over them. 



hundred doUara, or be imprisoned not less than one month, nor more 
than six months, in the discretion of the court having cognizance 
thereof; and it shall be the duty of the courts of oyer and terminer 
and general sessions of the peace in the several counties of this State, 
in whieh any part of said lands are or may be situated, to charge the 
grand juries of their respective counties specially to indict all offend- 
ers against the provisions of this section.' 

" Meanwhile many persons had in good faith expended 
considerable sums in improvements, whieh it was desirable 
should be secured to them by a more reliable tenure than 
Indian leases, which led, in 1816, to the passage of a law : 

" ' That in ease the St. Regie Indians may be desirous of selling 
the mile square of land reserved by them at or near the village of 
French Mills, in the town of Constable, in the county of Franklin, or 
any other lands lying within the State, to which the St. Regis Indians 
have any title or claim, the person administering the government of 
*the State shall be and is hereby authorized to purchase the said lands 
from the said Indians in behalf of this State, and that the treasurer 
be and is hereby authorized on the warrant of the comptroller to pay 
to the order of the governor such sum of money to defray the expense 
of completing the said purchase as the governor may think reason- 
able to give for the said lands.' 

" The following treaty was accordingly held March 15, 

"'A treaty made and executed between Daniel D. Tompkins, gov- 
ernor of the State of New York, in behalf of the people of the said 
State, of the one part, and Peter Tarbell, Jacob Francis, and Thomas 
Williams, for and in behalf of the nation or tribe of Indians known 
and called the St. Regis Indians, of the second part (at the city of 
Albany, this fifteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and sixteen), witnesseth. 

" ^Article 1. The said tribe or nation of St. Regis Indians do hereby 
sell and convey to the people of the State of New York, for the con- 
sideration hereinafter mentioned, a certain piece or parcel of their 
reservation, called the one mile square, situated in the county of 
Franklin, on Salmon river, to have and to hold the same, to the said 
people of the State of New York and their assigns forever j and also a 
separate and additional tract of land of their said reservation, situate 
in the county aforesaid,, containing five thousand acres of the easterly 
part of their said reservation, adjoining their aforesaid mile square of 
land, within the territorial limits of the State of New York, to be 
measured from the east boundary line of said reservation, so as to 
make the said west boundary line of said five thousand acres to run 
due north and south ; to have and to hold the said five thousand acres 
of land, to the said people of the State of New York, and their assigns 

" ' Article 2. The said Daniel D. Tompkins, governor, as aforesaid, 
for and in behalf of the people of the State of New York, covenants 
and agrees with the St. Regis nation of Indians that the said people, 
for the said several tracts of one mile square of land and of five 
thousand acres of land hereinbefore granted and conveyed, shall pay 
to the said nation annually forever hereafter the sum of one thousand 
three hundred dollars, at French Mills, on said premises; the first 
payment of the said annuity to be paid on the first Tuesday of 
August next, and the whole annuity to be paid on the first Tuesday 
of August in each year thereafter. 

"^ Article Z. The said St. Regis irihe or nation of Indians also 
covenant and agree to depute and authorize three of the chiefs or 
principal men of their tribe to attend at the times and the places 
aforesaid to receive the said annuity. And that the receipt of the 
said chiefs or principal men so deputed shall be considered a full 
and satisfactory discharge of the people of the State of New York 
from the annuities which may be so received.' 

" Signed, sealed, witnessed, acknowledged and recorded. 

'* In consequence of the great distress among the St. 
Regis and other Indian tribes of the State from the short 
crops in the cold summer of 1816, the legislature, at the 
recommendation of the governor, by an act passed February 
12, 1817, authorized the payment of annuities to be antici- 

pated for that year for the purchase of the necessaries of 

" The concessions of the last treaty being found not to 
cover the territory that had been leased, another treaty was 
held on the 20th of February, 1818, as follows: 

"'At a treaty held at the city of Albany the 20th day of Febru- 
ary, in theyoar of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, 
between his excellency De Witt Clinton, governor of the State of 
New York, on behalf of the people of the said State, and Loren Tar- 
bell, Peter Tarbell, Jacob Francis, and Thomas Williams on behalf 
of the nation or tribe of Indians known and called the St. Regie In- 
dians, it is covenanted, agreed, and concluded as follows, to wit: 

" ' The Siiid St. Regis Indians sell and convey to the people of the 
State of New York two thousand acres out of the lands reserved by 
the said Indians, to be bounded as follows, to wit: On the north and 
south by the north and south bounds of said reservation; on the east 
by the lands ceded by said Indians to the people of the said State 
by a treaty dated 16th March, 1816; and on the west by a lino run- 
ning parallel thereto, and at such a distance therefrom as to contain 
the said two thousand acres ; also four rods wide of land through the 
whole length of their reservation for a public road, to the west 
bounds thereof, together with four rods wide of land for the same 
purpose, commencing at the boundary-line near the village of St. 
Regis, to run in a direction so as to intersect the aforementioned road 
a little westerly of the place where it shall cross the St. Regis river, 
which will be about one mile and three-quarters in length. On con- 
dition that both the said roads be laid out by Michael Hogan, with 
the assistance of Loren Tarbell, and such other person as his excel- 
lency the governor of the said State shall appoint; and further, that 
in case a turnpike gate or gates shall be established on said road, all 
the Indians of the said tribe shall be allowed to pass free of toll, and 
on th: further condition that those on the lands they have now and 
heretofore sold shall be compelled, before the State gives them or 
any other person title thereto, to pay up tho arrearages of rent due 
on the lands occupied by the said settlers. 

"'In consideration of which cession or grant it is hereby cove- 
nanted, on the part of the said people, to pay to the said Indians an- 
nually forever hereafter, on the first Tuesday of August, at Platts- 
burgh, an annuity of two hundred dollars. And it is further cove- 
nanted by and between the said parties that the annuities payable to 
the said Indians, in consequence of the former treaties between them 
and the said State, shall hereafter be paid them on the said first 
Tuesday of August at Plattsburgh, instead of the places where they 
are made payable by such treaties. In testimony whereof the said 
governor, on the part of the people of the said State, and the said 
Loren Tarbell, Peter Tarbell, Jacob Fraucis, and Thomas Williams, 
have hereunto set their bands and seals the day and year first above 

" Signed, sealed, acknowledged, and recorded. 

" The lands ceded by the treaty of 1818 were by an act 
of April 20 oF that year directed to be laid out into lots and 
farms and sold. The report of the commissioners appointed 
by the governor to perform this duty will be given in our 
account of Fort Covington. 

The following memorial explains itself, and indicates the 
necessity of the course which was subsequently to be 
pursued : 

"'Albany, February 16, 1818. 
" ' To his ExceUency Governor Clinton, of the State of Kew York: 

"'The chiefs of the St. Regis Indians, by their petition, most re- 
spectfully approach your excellency, to show that in March, 1802, u. 
law was passed for the benefit of our tribe, appointing the trustees, 
namely, AVilliam Gray, Louis Cook, and Loren Tarbell, to manage 
and improve their affairs. From that period until the late war they 
continued happy amongst themselves, but the war having produced 
u, feeling of opposite interests in the tribe, they became divided 
almost equally in number of young men, having your old chiefs 
with their adherents steady in the cause and interests of the United 
States. In the course of the war their trustee William Gray was 
taken prisoner at St. Regis, and carried to Quebec, where he died a 



prisoner of war. Their other trustee, Colonel Louis Cook, after being 
actively engaged with General Brown near BufTalo, died at that 
place. Since his death, your excellency's petitioner, Loren Tarbell, 
the surviving trustee, taking to his private council Peter Tarbell and 
Jacob Francis, old chiefs, in whom the tribe have full faith, has con- 
tinued to act as for the whole, and has the satisfaction of assuring 
your excellency that the trust reposed in him has been discharged 
conscientiously, and with full regard to justice. 

" ' Now, your excellency's petitioner growing old, and desirous to 
be relieved in part from the responsibility which he has felt in the 
discharge of his duties, humbly prays your excellency to get a law 
passed appointing the above-mentioned Peter Tarbell and Jacob 
Francis to his aid, to fill the vacancies occasioned by the death of the 
former trustees, and confirming the acts of your petitioner done in 
conjunction with the latter since the death of the former trustees. 

" ' And your petitioner will, as in duty bound, ever pray, etc. 

"'Lobes Tarbell. (Signed by his mark.) 

" ' WiLLiAJi L. Gray, Interpreter.' 

" In consequence of the foregoing petition and memorial, 
an act was passed on the 3d of April, 1818, appointing 
Peter Tarbell and Jacob Francis, chiefs of the said tribe, to 
be trustees in place of Colonel Louis and William Gray, 
deceased, and to act with the surviving trustee, Loren Tar- 

" Much difficulty arose between the Indians and their 
former tenants in relation to their arrearages of rent, con- 
cerning which they memorialized the legislature, and on the 
10th of March, 1824, procured an act directing the comp- 
troller to draw his warrant on the treasury for the payment 
of any sum not exceeding $735.07 in favor of Asa Hascall, 
district attorney for the county of Franklin, upon his cer- 
tificate or certificates of the amount of rents due to the 
said St. Reg-is Indians from the settlers on certain lands 
ceded to them by the people of this State, by treaty dated 
Feb. 29, 1818, and it was made the duty of the said dis- 
trict attorney on receiving the said money to pay it over to 
the Indians as a full satisfaction and discharge of their 

" On the 10th of April, 1824, the foregoing act was ex- 
tended to include the lands ceded March 15, 1816. 

" The mill on Grass river and one mile square reserva- 
tion continued to be the property of these people until 
March 16, 1824, when, at a treaty held at Albany between 
Joseph C. Yates, governor, and Thomas Williams, Mitchel 
Cook, Lewis Doublehouse, and Peter Tarbell, they sold and 
conveyed for the sum of $1920 this property. 

" The following is a copy of the power of attorney under 
which the deputies of the foregoing treaty acted : 

"'-fiTnom all men by these presents, That we, the undersigned chief 
warriors of the tribe called St. Hegii Indians, constitute and appoint 
Thomas Williams, Lewis Doublehouse, and Peter Tarbell as our true 
and lawful attorneys, to go to Albany and sell such a quantity of our 
lands to the people of this State as they may think proper, and to 
transact aU other business which shall be thought best for the welfare 
of our nation, and whatsoever our attorneys shall lawfully act or do 
we will ratify and confirm. Done at St. Regis in general council this 
eighth day of March, 1821. 

«"'Eleazer Skarestogowa, Charles Sagaiiawita, 

Peter Trewesti, Iouace Gareweas, 

LoRAN Cook, Joseph Bern, 

Charles AVilliam.s, Eyreb Gagagen, 

Thomas Tcbble, Baptiste Satchweies, 

Lewey Sabonrani.' 
(Signed mostly by their marks.) 

«Rev. Eleazer Wij 

" The appointment made by the legisiature in 1818, of 
trustees to fill the vacancy made by the death of Cook and 
Gray, appears to have been unsatisfactory to the tribe, as 
is seen from the following petition that was signed by the 
same parties as those who furnished the credentials of the 
deputies at the previous treaty : 

" ' To the honorable the Legislature of the State of New York, in 
senate and a/isenibli/ convened : 

"'We the undersigned, chiefs and warriors of the St. Regis tribe of 
Indians, humbly represent to your honorable body that our old chiefs 
that were appointed as trustees are all dead, except one, who is old 
and unable to transact public business. We therefore earnestly pray 
that your honorable body will appoint Thomas Williams, Mitchel 
Cook, Lewis Doublehouse, and Peter Tarbell as trustees to oversee 
and control the affairs of the St. Regis Indians. 

"'Done in general council at St. Regis, this ninth day of March 
1824.' '• 

" The following memorial was also prepared to be for- 
warded to the legislature : 

" ' At a, public council or town-meeting of the chiefs, head men 
and warriors of that part of the St. Regis nation, or tribe of Indians 
which claim the protection and countenance of the State of New 
York, and which receive annuities from and held lands nnder the 
authority of the said State, assembled on this 31st day of May, 
1824, on their reservation lands in the said State, it is unanimously 
resolved that, in order to put an end to all quarrels for power, we will 
not henceforth encourage any other individuals to be chiefs, or trus- 
tees, except Thomas Williams, Mitchel Cook, Lewis Doublehouse, 
Peter Tarbell, and Charles Cook ; and we do hereby fully authorize 
and empower them to transact for and on behalf of our said tribe of 
American St. Regis Indians all manner of business which they may 
deem for the general good. 

" ' We authorize them, especially, to receive all annuities payable 
to us by virtue of any bargains or treaties made, or to be made, by 
the State of New York, or of individuals under the sanction of law, 
and others, and to distribute all money or property, as received 
amongst the said tribe of American St. Regis Indians, according to 
our claims. We also authorize and require them to execute to the 
governor of the said State, or other proper authority, all necessary 
grants, conveyances, releases, or receipts which may be required, in 
consequence of any bargain or treaty heretofore made, or hereafter in 
their discretion to be made on our behalf, and for our benefit, with 
the governor of the said State. 

"'We do further authorize and require them to endeavor to make 
such a bargain with the governor as that all the moneys which we 
are now, or shall be entitled unto, shall in future be paid on our reser- 
vation lands, to our said chiefs and trustees, and not elsewhere. We 
also authorize them to make such arrangements with the governor 
that some individual in whom the governor, as well as our said chiefs, 
can place confidence, may hereafter be considered the only proper 
channel of mutual communication between the governor and our said 
chiefs on behalf of our said tribe, excepting all occasions in which 
our said chiefs may be at Albany. We fully approve all that was 
done by our deputies and chiefs, Thomas Williams, Mitchel Cook, 
Louis Doublehouse, and Peter Tarbell, in the bargain or treaty made 
at Albany on the 16th March last. We earnestly request that the 
governor will bear in mind these resolutions of the American 5/. 
Regis Indians ; and, that our minds may be known, we have each of 
us caused our several names and seals to be affixed to this paper and 
another like it, and ordered one copy to be delivered to the governor 
and one to be kept by our said chiefs. 

"'(Signed by about sixty Indians.) 

" ' Copied from the duplicate at St. Regis.' 

" As a further evidence of authenticity, the foregoing 
was accompanied by a declaration of allegiance, a copy of 
which is here given : 

Know all whom it mat/ concern. That we, whoso names are hereto 
annexed, do solemnly declare ourselves to belong to the American 



tribe of St.,liegia Indians; that wo owe no fealty to the British gov- 
ernment, nor receive any annuities or benefits from the same; that 
we wore friendly to the United States during the late war, and have 
continued to be so since; and that it is our fixed determination to 
establish and continue our residence within the limits pf the said 
United States, the protection and countenance, and especially of the 
State of New York, we hereby claim for said tribe. In witness of all 
which we have hereto caused our names and seals to be affixed this 
31st day of May, in the year 1824, within our reservation lands in 
the State of New York, done in duplicate, one copy to be kept by our 
chiefs, and one copy to be delivered to the governor of the State of 
New York. 
'"(Signed by about sixty Indians).' 

" The author has been unable to ascertain what action, if 
any, was taken on this subject by the legislature, further 
than that in a treaty , held on the 29th of June, 1824, between 
Governor Yates, and Thomas Williams, Mitchel Cook, 
Louis Doublehouse, Peter Tarbell, and Charles Cook, the 
latter are recognized as trustees. 

" By this treaty they ceded, in consideration of seventeen 
hundred and fifty dollars down, and an annuity of sixty 
dollars, payable on the first Tuesday in August, at the vil- 
lage of Plattsburg, to the said chiefs and trustees, a tract 
of one thousand acres of land, bounded as follows : 

*' ' On the northeast, by a line commencing on the easterly side of 
St. Regis river, at the termination of the roll-way, so called, about 
four or five chains northerly from the mast road, and running thence 
southeast to the south bounds of the said reserved lands; on the 
south by the said south bounds; on the northwest by the said St. 
Kegis river and the land leased by the said Indians to Michael 
Hogan; and on the southwest by a line to be run southeast from the 
said St. Regis river to the south bounds of said reserved lands.' 

" On the 14th of December, 1824, the same Indians, 
who are styled ' principal chiefs and head men,' confirmed 
to the people of the State of New York, for a payment of 
one dollar and an annuity of $305, a certain tract of land 
which their predecessors had in ' two certain indentures of 
lease, or instruments in writing, under seal, bearing date 
respectively on the 20th and 23d days of October, in the 
year of our Lord 1817, and made and executed by and be- 
tween their predecessors in office and Michael Hogan, and 
subsequently confirmed by an act of the legislature.' 

" The grass meadows on Grasse river, in the town of Mas- 
sena, were purchased from the St. Regis Indians by the 
commissioners of the land-office, in pursuance of powers 
vested in them by the legislature, pn the 21st of February, 

" The amount purchased was, according to Lay's Map 
of 1801, two hundred and ten acres, at three dollars per 
acre. It was stipulated, that if the amount of land should 
be found to overrun, the excess should be paid for at the 
same rates. 

"The Indian meadows on Grasse river were surveyed 
by John W. Tate, in 1845, and patented in small lots in 
the years 1846, '47, '48, '49, and 1851." 

These transactions are believed to cover all pertaining to 
or concerning St. Lawrence County. The history of the 
St. Regis Indians more properly belongs to Franklin county, 
and is not deemed of sufficient importance to be given in 
this work. A very full account of the community is fur- 
nished in Dr. Hough's History of St. Lawrence and Frank- 
lin Counties, published in 1853, together with biographical 

notices of many of the most prominent individuals connected 
with it. 


" The title of lands, by an established law recognized by 
all civilized nations, is naturally vested in the primitive 
occupants, and cannot be taken from them justly, without 
their consent. ' The law of occupancy, or the taking pos- 
session of those things which belong to nobody,' says 
Blackstone,* ' is the true ground and foundation of all 
property, or of holding those things in severalty which, 
by the law of nature, unqualified by that of society, were 
common to all mankind. But when once it was agreed 
that everything capable of ownership should have an 
owner, natural reason suggested that he who should first 
declare his intention of appropriating anything to his own 
use, and in consequence of such intention actually took it 
into possession, should thereby gain the absolute property 
of it.' 

" The manner in which the primitive title to soil was ex- 
tinguished is detailed in the first part of this chapter. 

'' Soon after the Revolution, there began to be evinced a 
strong tendency for the extension of the settlements, to 
which the newly-acquired freedom gave an impulse before 
unknown. As a natural consequence, this led to a series 
of speculations on a scale proportionate to the progressive 
movement ; and it will be noticed that many of those who 
engaged in these operations had been associated in the 
camp, and had thus acquired, by frequent contact, that 
familiarity with each other's character, and that degree of 
mutual confidence, which led to the exercise of trust and 
reliance upon honor, in many of the negotiations which 
they carried on, to an extent unknown at the present day. 

" But little was known of the country, at the time of 
purchase, beyond that which lay on the border of the 
St. Lawrence river. Previous to the Revolutionary War 
an extensive portion of the State on the Hudson and 
Mohawk rivers, and to a great distance on each side of 
these, had been granted in patents by the English crown, 
and surveyed. The most northern of these was ' Totten's 
and Crossfield's purchase,' which forms the southern 
boundary of our two counties. This was purchased at the 
request and expense of Joseph Totten and Stephen Cross- 
field and others, from the Mohawk and Canajoharie tribes 
of Indians, at Johnson's Hall, in Tryon county, in the 
month of July, 1773. It was described as lying on the 
west side of Hudson river, and contained by estimation 
about 800,000 acres of land.f This is believed to have 
been subsequently confirmed by a royal grant. The sur- 
veyors employed in running out the tract found it a rugged 
and inhospitable wilderness, and the farther north they 
went the worse they found it, from which it was inferred 
that the whole northern country was of the same character.^ 

" In a map of Canada and the north part of Louisiana, in 
Jeffery's 'French Dominions in America,' the country 
north of this tract is described as the ' deer-lmnting 
grounds of the Iroquois.' Map No. 74, in Delisle's Atlas 

* Commentaries on the Laws of England. Book 2, chap. xvi. 

t See MSS., Council Minutes, vol. 31, p. 31. 

X On the authority of Henry E. Pierrepont, Esq., of Brooklyn. 



of 1785 (State library), names it and the north of Ver- 
mont ' Irocoisia' or the land of the Iroquois ; and in an 
old map, republished in the fourth volume of the Docu- 
mentary History of the State, it is called ' Gouglisagrage,^ 
or the beaver-hunting country of the Six Nations. Across 
our two counties is written the following sentence : 

*" Through this tract of land runs a chain of mountains which, 
from Lake Champlain on One side and the river St. Lawrence on the 
other side, show their tops always white with snow, but although this 
one unfavorable circumstance has hitherto secured it from the claws 
of the harpy land-jobbers, yet no doubt it is as fertile as the land on 
the east side of the lake, and will in future furnish a comfortable 
retreat for many industrious families.* 

" A desire to promote the settlement of the State led the 
legislature to take early measures for bringing into market 
the unpatented lands. An act was passed. May 5, 1786, 
entitled ' an act for the speedy sale of the unappropriated 
lands of the State,' creating land commissioners and em- 
powering them to dispose of such unsold lands as they 
might see proper, within the limits of the State. The out- 
lines of the tracts were first to be run into townships of 
64,000 acres, as nearly square as circumstances would per- 
mit. Each township was to be subdivided into mile square 
lots, to be numbered in arithmetical progression, from first 
to last, and on every fourth township to be written ' to be 
sold hy single lots' The maps so numbered and lotted 
were to be filed in the secretary's oiEce, and the original 
thereof in the surveyor-general's oflSce : 

'"And the said secretary and surveyor-general respectively shall 
cause maps so to be filed, to be put up in some conspicuous part of 
their respective oiBces, and shall permit any person whatever freely 
to inspect such maps, between the hours of nine and twelve in the 
morning and three and six in the afternoon in every day, Sundays 
only excepted, paying for inspecting in morning sixpence, and the 
like in the afternoon.' 

" Advertisement for the sale of these lands at public ven- 
due was to be duly given. The surveyor-general was to put 
up, as nearly as might be, one-quarter part of the unappro- 
priated and unreserved lands in every township, in lots con- 
tiguous to each other, and sell them to' the highest bidder; 
reserving five acres out of every hundred for roads, but not 
selling any land for a less price than one shilling an acre. 

" The first, and every fourth township, was to be sold in 
single lots. One-fourth of the purchase-money was to be 
paid down, and the remainder was due within sixty days. 

" In every township the surveyor-general was directed to 
mark one lot ' gospel and schools,' and another 'for pro- 
moting literature,' which lots were to be as nearly central 
as may be. The former was reserved for the support of the 
gospel and schools of the town, but the latter was reserved 
for promoting literature within the State. 

" The land commissioners were directed to designate each 
township which they might lay out by such name as they 
might deem proper, and such name was to be respectively 
mentioned in the letters patent for granting a township or 
part of a township. 

" It was made a condition that there should be an actual 
settlement made for every six hundred and forty acres 
which may be granted to any person or persons, within 
seven years from the first day of January next, after the 
date of the patent by which such lands shall be granted • 

in failure of which the lands would revert to the people of 
the State. 

" Accordingly, in pursuance of powers vested in them, 
the board above created, on the 25th of May, 1787, passed 
the following resolution : 

" ' Reenhed, That the surveyor-general be, and he is hereby required 
and directed, to lay down, on a map, two ranges of townships for sale, 
each township to contain as nearly as may be sixty-four thousand 
acres, and as nearly in a square as local circumstances will permit, 
and to subdivide each township into lots, as nearly square as may be, 
and each lot to contain six hundred and forty acres, as nearly as 
may be. 

*' * That each range contain five townships adjoining each other, and 
one of the said ranges to be bounded on the river St. Lawrence, and 
the said ten townships to be laid out within the following limits and 
bounds, to wit : 

'"Between a line to be run S. 28° E., from a point or place on the 
southern bank of the river St. Lawrence, bearing S. 28° E.,*from the 
N. W. end of the Isle au Long Saut, and a line parallel with the said 
first line, and also to run from the south bank of the said river, and 
the said parallel lines to be distant fifty miles from each other; and 
that the said surveyor-general advertise the said townships, and pro- 
ceed to the sale thereof, agreeably to law, and that two of the said 
townships be sold in single lots.*- 

" The value of this tract was then but little known, and 
of the position and courses of lakes and streams there was 
scarcely more knowledge than we now possess of Central 
Africa. The shores of the river were well known, and 
served as a guide in the. laying out of the ten towns. 

" Accordingly, in pursuance of the statute, the following 
advertisement appeared in the papers. We copy from the 
Albany Gazette of June 7, 1787 : 

"'By virtue of an act of the Legislature entitled "An act for the 
speedy sale of the unappropriated lands within this State, and for 
other purposes therein mentioned," passed the 5th of May, 1786, and 
pursuant to a resolution of the Honorable the Commissioners of the 
Land Office : — 


On the southeast side of the River St. Lawrekce, will bo sold at 
Public Vendue, at the Coffee House in the City of New York. The 
sale to commence on Tuesday, the 10th of July next, at XL o'clock, 
in the forenoon. Maps are filed for inspection in the offices ot the 
Secretary of the State, and Surveyor GeneraL 

"'The fourth and eighth Townships will be sold by single Lota, the 
rest by Quarters of Townships. 

" ' Such securities as are made receivable by law on the sales of for- 
feited lands, will be received in payment. The one Quarter of the 
Purchase Money on the day of sale, and the remainder within sixty 
days after. 

" ' Simeon De Witt, 

" ' June, 1787. « < Surmyor General: 

"The names of the ten towniships were established by a 
formal resolution of the commissioners of the land-office, 
Sept. 10, 1787, and with their corresponding numbers were 
as follows : 

"1, Louisville; 2, Stockholm; 3, Potsdam; 4, Madrid; 
5, Lisbon; 6, Canton; 7, De Kalb; 8, Oswegatchie; 9, 
Hague; 10, Cambray. 

" They have been known by these names exclusively, and 
not by their numbers. All but the last two are still re- 
tained. No. 9 was changed to Morristown, and No. 10 to 
Gouverneur. Four new towns have since been formed 
from these, viz. : Macomb, from Gouverneur and Morris- 
town ; De Peyster, from De Kalb and Oswegatchie ; Nor- 
folk, from Stockholm and Louisville; and Waddington, 

* Land-Oflice Minutes, vol. i. p. 256. 



from Madrid. A part of Hague has also been attached to 
Hammond, and of De Kalb to Hermon. 

" In accordance with the law, and pievious advertisement, 
an auction sale took place at the Merchants' coffee-house, 
in the city of New York, at the time advertised, at which 
the ten towns were offered for sale, in quarters, except Os- 
wegatchie and Madrid, which were sold in mile squares. 

" The obvious intention of the law in causing these lands 
to be offered in small parcels was to afford an opportunity 
for those of limited means to compete at the sales ; but 
this intention was defeated by a previous agreement, it is 
said, among the purchasers, in which they delegated one 
of their number to bid, and agreed to not compete in the 

"The principal purchaser was Alexander Macomb, who 
subsequently acted a distinguished part in the northern land 
purchases. Gen. Philip Schuyler owned a one-fourteenth 
interest in these ' ten towns,' or, as they were sometimes 
called, the ' Canada towns.' His share equaled 49,860 
acres, which were patented in Macomb's name. Watts 
owned one-fifteenth of tracts Nos. 1 , 2, and 3 Great Pur- 

" Mr. Macomb had, for many years, resided in Detroit, 
and is said to have been a fur-trader. In the course of his 
business he had often passed up and down the St. Law- 
rence, and thus became acquainted with the general aspect 
and probable value of the lands, and better qualified to en- 
gage in these purchases than most of his associates. Alex- 
ander Macomb was the father of Gen. Alexander Macomb, 
commander of the United States army. 

" To cover the private agreement certain persons were 
employed to bid for Macomb, and the lots so sold were sub- 
sequently conveyed to him before patenting. In this man- 
ner lots Nos. 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 21, in Madrid, 
were bid off by Michael Connolly ; lots Nos. 47, 56, and 
57, in the same town, by John Meyers ; lots Nos. 48 and 
49, in the same town, by Daniel McCormick ; lots Nos. 
18 and 19, in O.swegatchie, by John Meyers; and lot No. 
23, in the same, by Thomas McFarren, and afterwards 
made over to Macomb. 

" The ten townships were sold as follows to the original 
patentees. Lots Nos. 55 and 56 were not included in the 
first patents, but were sold long after. 

" Reference is made to the volume and page of patents 
in the office of the Secretary of State, where they are re- 
corded. The quarters were numbered as follows: No. 1, 
the northeast ; No. 2, the southeast ; No. 3, the southwest ; 
and No. 4, the northwest quarters. The gospel and school 
lot (No. 55) usually came out of No. 3, and the literature 
lot (No. 56) out of No. 2. As these towns were designated 
to be each ten miles square, the full quarters (1 and 4) 
would contain 16,000 acres, and the smaller quarters (2 
and 3) 15,360 acres. 

" 1. Louisville, patented in quarters, to Alexander Ma- 
comb, on the 17th of Dec, 1787 (b. 20, p. 64). The 
literature lot was patented to Erastus Hall, Jan. 18, 1833 
(b. 32, p. 10). A tier of lots, numbered from 1 to 12, 
along the St. Lawrence, sold June 4, 1788, to John Taylor 
(b. 20, p. 311, 322). These contained five hundred acres 

" 2. Stoelcholm, was patented in quarters, to Alexander 
Macomb, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 68-70). The literature 
lot was sold to Henry Foster, Sept. 25, 1834 (b. 32, p. 

" 3. Potsdam was patented in quarters, to Alexander 
Macomb, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 50, p. 72, 75). 

" 4. Madrid was sold in lots of 640 acres, or one mile 
square each, as follows: Nos. 1 to 6, to Jeremiah Van 
Rensselaer, June 4, 1788 (b. 20, p. 332). Nos. 7 to 49, 
to Alexander Macomb, but on different dates, viz. : Nos. 7 
to 18, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 96-99); No. 11, April 19, 
1788 (b. 20, p. 267) ; No. 12, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 
100) ; Nos. 13—14, April 19, 1788 (b. 20, p. 268-69) ; 
No. 15, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 101) ; No. 16, April 19, 
1788 (b. 20, p. 270); Nos. 17—18, April 19, 1788 (b. 
20, p. 271-72) ; No. 19, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 101) ; 
Nos. 20—21, April 19, 1788 (b. 20, p. 273-74) ; Nos. 
22 to 30, Dec. 17, 1797 (b. 20, p. 104-112) ; Nos. 31 to 
46, Dec. 20, 1787 (b. 20, p. 112-127) ; Nos. 47 to 49, 
April 19, 1787 (b. 20, p. 275-277). No. 51, literature 
lot, sold to Thomas Peacock, March 24, 1837 (b. 33, p. 
226). Nos. 52 to 95, to Alexander Macomb, but at dif- 
ferent times as follows : Nos. 52 to 55, Dec. 20, 1787 (b. 
20, p. 128-131) ; Nos. 56—57, April 19, 1788 (b. 20, p. 
278-79) ; Nos. 58 to 86, Dec. 20, 1787 (b. 20, p. 132- 
160); Nos. 87 to 95, Dec. 22, 1787 (b. 20, p. 161-169). 
The river lots, of 500 acres each, numbered from 12 to 17, 
sold to John Taylor, June 4, 1788 (b. 20, p. 322). 

" 6. Canton was patented in quarters, to Alexander Ma- 
comb, Dec. 16, 1787 (b. 20, p. 80, 83). The literature lot 
was conveyed to the trustees of Lowville Academy, Nov. 
20, 1818 (b. 26, p. 678). 

" 7. De Kalb was patented in quarters, to Macomb, Dec. 
17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 84, 87). The gospel and school lot 
was subdivided and sold in small lots to individuals between 
1829 and 1836. The literature lot was subdivided and 
sold in small parcels to individuals between 1829 and 

" 8. Oswegatchie was patented in mile squares, as fol- 
lows : Nos. 1 to 9, to Alexander Macomb, Dec. 22, 1787 
(b. 20, p. 170, 175) ; No. 10, to Henry Remsen, Jr., Oct. 
15, 1787 (b. 20, p. 55) ; Nos. 11 to 12 (the latter of 1160 
acres) to John Taylor, June 4, 1788 (b. 20, p. 328) ; No. 
13, to Henry Remsen, Jr., Oct. 15, 1787 (b. 20, p. 56); 
500 acres at the mouth of Oswegatchie river, to John Tay- 
lor, April 22, 1789 (b. 21, p. 178) ; Nos. 14 to 15 (1700 
acres) to John Taylor, June 4, 1788 (b. 20, p. 329) ; Nos. 
16 to 17, to Henry Remsen, Jr., Oct. 15, 1787 (b. 20, p. 
54, 58) ; Nos. 18 to 53, to Alexander Macomb, Dec. 22, 
1787 (b. 20, p. 180, 201) ; No. 54, to Alexander Macomb, 
Dec. 24, 1787 (b. 20, p. 210) ; Nos. 57 to 100, to Alex- 
ander Macomb, Dec. 24, 1787 (b. 20, p. 211, 244); 500 
acres to John Taylor, April 22, 1789 (b. 21, p. 178). 

" 9. Hague was patented in quarters to Macomb, Dec. 
17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 88, 91). The greater part of the gos- 
pel and school lots of this town came in Black Lake. 

" 10. Canibray was patented in quarters to Alexander 
Macomb, Dec. 17, 1787 (b. 20, p. 92). 

"July 4, 1788, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer conveyed to 
Macomb, for £275, lots Nos. 1 to 6, in Madrid, and 10 and 



n, inLisboD. (See's office. Deeds, b. 2, 4, p. 305.) On 
the same date Taylor sold his lands to Macomb, containing 
10,830 acres, for £580. These were lots Nos. 1 to 11, in 
Louisville, containing 5500 acres ; No. 12, in Madrid and 
Louisville, of 500 acres ; Nos. 13 to 17, in Madrid, con- 
taining 2500 acres; and Nos. 11 to 15, in Oswegatchie, 
containing 2330 acres. (B. 24, p. 307.) April 5, 1788, 
Henry Remsen conveyed to Macomb, for £120, the four 
lots he had bid off in Oswegatchie. 

" Macomb thus became the nominal owner of nearly the 
whole of the ten towns. April 16, 1791, he appointed 
Gronverneur Morris, then in Prance, his attorney to sell any 
portions of the ten towns which he might deem proper, ex- 
cepting a tract in Lisbon previously sold.* So far as our 
information extends, no sales were made by virtue of this 

"By an instrument executed May 3, 1792, Macomb 
conveyed to Samuel Ogden, in trust for himself, Gen. Henry 
Knox, Robert Morris, and Gouverneur Morris, four of his 
associates, for the consideration of £3200, the four town- 
ships of Hague, Cambray, Oswegatchie, and De Kalb, with 
the stipulation that Ogden should convey to H. Knox 
44,114 acres; to R. Morris, 60,641 acres; and to Gouv- 
erneur Morris, 60,641 acres of this tract.f In 1792, Ma- 
comb became involved by transaction with Wm, Duer, Isaac 
Whippo, and others of New York, J by which he was com- 
pelled to assign his interest in a tract of land of 1,920,000 
acres, for the benefit of his creditors, to William Edgar and 
Daniel McCormick. On the same date with the foregoing 
he sold to William Constable, for £1500, the towns of 
Madrid, Potsdam, and the west half of Stockholm, and 
Louisville, and to William Edgar, for £12,000, the towns 
of Lisbon and Canton, excepting a tract in the former, pre- 
viously sold to John Tibbets. The towns of Potsdam and 
Canton appear to have been at first included in this con- 
veyance, which Edgar, in an instrument dated Oct. 24, 
1793,§ acknowledged to have been a deed of trust, and ob- 
ligated himself to reconvey the same to Macomb when 

" The failure of Macomb was in some way connected with 
a bank which it was attempted to get established, as a rival 
of the Bank of New York, in 1792. The shares of this 
bank were to have been $500 each, and 2000 in number. 
He was very much blamed for the course he took in the 
matter, and on his failure was lodged in the debtors' 
prison. It is said that even in this retreat he was assailed 
by a rabble, and owed his preservation only to the strength 
of the building. Macomb's failure prevented the sale of 
northern lands to the celebrated ' Holland Land Company,' 
who afterwards made the ' Genesee Purchase.' At the 
time this embarrassment occurred, Macomb was largely in- 
debted to Alexander Ellice, and others of London. To 
satisfy this debt, he had conveyed, June 6, 1792, the 
towns of Lisbon, Canton, Madrid, and Potsdam, with the 
west half of Louisville and Stockholm, but Ellice dis- 

* See Deeds, b. 23, p. 146. Secretary's office, 
t lb., b. 2i, p. 309. 

X Recital in a conveyance of Oct. 10, 1792. Deeds, b. 24, p. 437, 
See's office. 

I lb., b. 26, p. 42. 

claimed this transfer, and quitclaimed his title to the con- 

" The following is a brief summary of the transfers of the 
several towns of the first purchases, so far as we have been 
able to obtain it : 

" Louisville. — We have shown how Constable became 
the owner of the west half of this town. James Constable, 
John McVickar, and Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, executors of 
William Constable, on Dec. 15, 1803, conveyed 2854 acres 
in a square at the southwest corner to Gouverneur Morris, 
excepting parts previously sold.|| G. Morris, Jr., received 
the above by will from his father, and this is called the Morris 
tract, at the village of Norfolk. At one period it was 
owned by Le Ray, and a part was afterwards purchased by 
Russel Attwater. The remainder of the west half of the 
town was conveyed by Wm. C. to Eweretta Constable, Jan. 
3, 1803.^ James McVickar and Eweretta, his wife, con- 
veyed the above to Wm. Stewart, Dec. 4, 1807, who recon-, 
veyed it to McVickar, Dec. 5, 1807.** The latter, Aug. 16; 
1816, deeded lots 58, 59, 60, 68, 69, 70, 78, 79, 80, 88, 
89, 90, to Henry McVickar,f'j' who by will conveyed it to 
Edward McVickar. The remainder of the west half of 
Louisville became the property of the McVickar families. 
The southern half of Nos. 16, 17, and the whole of 26, 27, 
36, 37, became the property of John Jay, who married a 
daughter of William Constable. This is called the Jai/ 

" The east half of Louisville and Stockholm were con- 
veyed, June 2, 1792, by Macomb to Wm. Edgar, Wm. 
Laight, and John Lamb, in trust, to be divided as follows: 
to Edgar, 30,618 acres ; to Laight, 11,127 acres ; to Lamb, 
22,255 acres. JJ Edgar sold his share April 3, 1795, to 
Nicholas Low, John Delafield, and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, 
for $30,61 8. The latter, July 15, 1797, sold 5103 acres 
to Elkanah Watson. 

" To divide their lands, the proprietors entered into a 
contract in August, 1798, with Amos Lay, to survey it and 
subdivide the lots by three qualities. Macomb also agreed 
with him for a similar survey of the west half The sur- 
vey having been made, and a deficiency being found, this 
was proportionally divided among the several proprietors, 
and they drew by lot for their tracts Feb. 18, 1799. Mr. 
Lay received, for his survey and maps of Louisville, the 
sum of $500, and a further sum of $70 for cutting a road 
through the town. 

" In a communication of E. Watson to the proprietois, ■ 
accompanying the survey, was the remark that a road from 
Louisville to St. Regis was expected to be completed in 
May or June, 1799. 

" Stockholm.— The west half of this town was sold by • : 
William Constable to John Constable, Jan. 3, 1803,§§ 
and the latter conveyed the same to Hezekiah B. Pierre- 
pont Sept. 28, 1809.IIII This was a deed in trust for- 
Pierrepont to settle and sell the lands to raise $45,000 
to pay Constable. The lands remaining unsold to be 
divided equally between them. By an agreement dated 

II n., b. 2, p. 149. -f-f lb., b. 4, p. 306. 

1 lb., b. 1, p. 86. jj u., b. 24, p. 280, See's Office. 

«* lb., b. 1, p. 322, 323. 12 lb., b. 1, p. 85. 
nil lb., b. 2, p. 390. 



April 10, 1813,* C. withdraws the 4th quarter of the 
town, which agreement P. signs. P. conveys to D. McCor- 
mick the 3d quarter of town, April 14, 181 3.f McC. con- 
veys back the same April 15, 1813. By a subsequent 
deed, John Constable, as heir of Wm. Constable,| deceased, 
releases with the other heirs of Wm. C. all their interest to 
H. B. Pierrepont. This half of the town has mostly been 
settled under agents of Hezekiah B. Pierrepont and his 
heirs. Henry E. Pierrepont, Esq., of Brooklyn, has at 
present the management of this estate, and of other exten- 
sive tracts in Franklin, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, and 
Oswego counties, which form a part of the Macomb pur- 

" Of the eastern half of this town we have been unable 
to obtain the chain of title. Edward W. Laight, Samuel 
Reynolds, Wm. Onderdonk, Richard Gouverneur, Nicholas 
Low and others, were concerned in the early transfers. 

" Potsdam. — Macomb, by way of Edgar to Constable, 
as above. The latter by deed, dated Nov. 18, 1802,§ Con- 
veyed to Garret Yan Home, David M. Clarkson, and their 
associates, as 'joint tenants, and not as tenants in common,' 
the town, except two miles wide on the northwest side. 
G. Van Home conveyed the above by deed of trust, on the 
9th of April, 1821, || excepting parts previously sold to 
Matthew Clarkson, to be conveyed to the following proprie- 
tors, in separate parcels, and by separate deeds, viz. : Levinus 
Clarkson, Hermon Le Roy, Nicholas Fish, John C. 
Clarkson, Garret Van Home, Wm. Bayard, the executors 
of Jas. McEvers, deceased, Thos. S. Clarkson, Levinus 
Clarkson, and G. Van Home. April 10, 1821, M. Clarkson, 
as such trustee, executes conveyances of separate lots and 
parts of lots, in said town, to said persons. 

" All subsequent titles in this town (except the two-mile 
strip) have been derived from the foregoing proprietors. 

" The strip by the side of Madrid was divided into two 
tracts, of which the western is called the Ogden Tract, and 
the eastern the Le Roiix Tract. The latter was sold to 
Charles Le Roux,by Constable, April 30, 1802. Le Roux 
died in 1810, and in his will directed that this should be sold 
by his executors (John Doughty, Charles L. Ogden, and 
Thomas L. Ogden) as expeditiously as found convenient. 

" These executors deeded it June 26, 1811,T[ to David A. 
and Gouverneur Ogden, as joint tenants in fee-simple. The 
latter, by deed, Oct. 2, 1823,** conveyed to Joshua Wad- 
dington and Thomas L. Ogden, who, Nov. 1, 1824,ff con- 
veyed to Waddington. 

" We have not the title of the western tract. 

" Madrid. — Macomb to Edgar, Oct. 24, 1793, as above. 
Edgar, by a conveyance dated June 12, 1794, sold to Wm. 
Constable the towns of Madrid and Potsdam, for five shil- 
lings, N. Y. currency.|J 

" Constable sold to Abraham Ogden, Josiah Ogden Hoff- 
man, David A. Ogden, and Thomas L. Ogden, this town, 
June 6, 1796, for $60,000.§§ This was further confirmed 

« Clerk's Office, b. 3, p. 488. || Ih., b. 7, p. 61, 76. 

t Ih., b. .3, p. 490, 902. II lb., b. 3, p. 293, 6. 

J Wm. Constable died May 3, 1803. »» lb., b. 7, p. 442, etc. 

§ Clerk's Office, b. 1, p. 46. ft lb., b. 8, p. 17, etc. 

X% Secretary's Office, deeds, b. 26, p. 41. 

II lb., deeds, b. 28, p. 391. 


by a deed from Thomas Cooper, master in chancery, June 
30, 1801, to John McVickar,|||| who, by deed dated July 
10, 1801,T[T[ conveyed to David A. and Thomas L. Ogden, 
as tenants in common. These brothers, April, 1803,*** 
deeded an undivided third of the town to Joshua Wad- 
dington. June 29, 1811, these parties executed partition 
deeds of lands previously contracted and mortgaged.fff 

" Canton and Lisbon. — Macomb to Edgar, as above. 
Edgar to Alexander Von Pfister, by deed, June 12, 1794, 
for five shillings. This was doubtlass in trust. In this 
was excepted a tract of nine thousand six hundred acres, 
sold by Macomb to John Tibbets, of Troy, Nov. 20, 1789, 
for £960.JIt 

" Von Pfister conveyed, March 3, 1795, to Stephen Van 
Rensselaer, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, and Richard Harrison, 
for £5068 16s.§§§ This is said to have been conveyed to 
them in payment for money loaned. On the 21st of Jan- 
uary, 1805, Hoffman, by deed, released to Van Rensselaer 
his interest in the two towns. 

" By an agreement between the parties, Harrison retained 
one-third of the eastern part of the tract (about 39,460 
acres), and Van Rensselaer the remainder (78,932 acres). |||||| 
Stephen Van Rensselaer, by deed dated Sept. 13, 1836, 
■ conveyed all his estate in these towns to his son, Henry Van 
Rensselaer,T[TfTf in whom the title of unsold portions is 
still vested. 

" De Kalb. — Macomb to Ogden, as above. The subse- 
quent transfers we have not obtained. Wm. Cooper, of 
Cooperstown, subsequently purchased the town and com- 
menced its first settlement. After his death it was divided 
up into a number of tracts among his heirs. 

"OswEGATCHiE was patented by ninety-eight patents, as 
above stated. Macomb to S. Ogden, May 3, 1792, with 
three other towns. Col. Ogden purchased the share of 
Robert Morris, as appears in a deed recorded in the Secre- 
tary's office, January, 1793, and conveyed to the others their 
shares in the townships of Hague and Cambray. On the 
29th of Feb., 1808, S. Ogden conveyed by quitclaim this 
town to his son, David B. Ogden.**** On the 21st of Jan- 
uary, 1847, the latter quitclaimed to David C. Judson, 
Esq., of Ogdensburg.fttt 

" Nathan Ford and others purchased large tracts in this 
town. By a deed of Aug. 17, 1798, Ogden conveyed to 
Ford|J;|:J an undivided half of three certain tracts, one of 
which contained 10,000 acres, and lay south of the outlet 
of Black lake. 

" The lot of 500 acres on which stood the original village 
of Ogdensburg was sold by John' Taylor, the patentee, 
June 13, 1789, to Alexander Macomb, for £25.§§§§ 

" Hague and Cambkat. — To S. Ogden, as above. May 
3, 1792, indorsed in a release from Robert Morris for his 
proportion, and an acknowledgment, signed by General 

§J§ Secretary's Office. 
IJIIII Clerk's Office, b. 1, p. 111. 
1[1f1| lb., deeds, b. 25, p. 486, etc. 
:!.■■:-:■:•» /j.^ deeds, b. 2, p. 132. 

Ill Clerk's Office, b. 1, p. 17. 

Iff lb., b. 1, p. 20. 

«-» lb., b. 1, p. 78. 

ttt lb; b. 3, p. 191. 

XXX lb., deeds, b. 3, p. 100. 

tttt lb; B. a. 39, p. 676, etc. Mr. Judson died in 1875. 
jjii: Oneida Clerk's Office, book B, No. 7, of deeds, p. 49, 
■^m Secretary's Office, deeds, b. 24, p. 308. 



Knox, of the receipt of his conveyance, dated May 23, and 
June 26, 1792. 

" The portion of the above which came to the share of 
General Knox lay along the west side of Hague and Cam- 
bray, extending from the river to the rear line, and was two 
miles, forty-six chains, and twenty-one links wide. This is 
known among early purchases as the Knox Tract, conveyed 
May 23, 24, 1792. It was supposed to contain 32,994 
acres, but was afterwards found to embrace only 32,748 
acres. To make up^ the deficiency of his 44,114 acres, 
lands in Oswegatchie were conveyed to General Knox. 

" Henry Knox conveyed the above to Benjamin Walker, 
June 8, 1792, by warranty deed. Walker, March 3, 1794, 
executed an agi-eement for the sale and exchange of lands 
with Samuel Ogden, including the Knox tract, for the con- 
sideration of ?1 6,497. Deeded as promised Dec. 2, 1794. 
A strip three chains forty-one links in width, bounded 
on the northeast corner of the 60,641 acre tract, was con- 
veyed by S. Ogden to David Ford, May 27, 1800. Ford 
exchanged lands Sept. 19, 1808, with Morris, by which the 
former received a tract on the east border of the town. S. 
Ogden, March 4, 1795, conveyed 20,000 to John Delafield, 
for £6000. This tract lay near the west border of the town. 
Feb. 12, 1796, D. sold to J. 0. Hoffman, for $10, one-sixth 
of this 20,000 acre strip. This strip was subsequently 
owned by Messrs. Nicholas Low, John Delafield,* and 
Benjamin Seixas, and the tract was still further divided by 
lines running from the St. Lawrence to the rear. Of these 
the first on the west was subsequently conveyed to Philip 
Kearney. It was 64 chains 71 links wide, and embraced 
10,000 acres. A portion of this, adjoining the town of 
Rossie, was sold to Mr. Parish. The next strip, 42 chains 
75 links wide, was purchased by Nicholas Low. It embraced 
6666.66 acres. A tract 18 chains 71 links wide, next east 
of this, embracing half the above number of acres, became 
the property of Nicholas Gouverneur. A strip 52 chains 
80 links wide, embracing 8000 acres, was sold to Hoffman 
and Ogden ; and about 5000 acres, or a strip 26 chains 
52 links wide, constituting the remainder of the Knox 
tract, was conveyed to Colonel Samuel Ogden. Adjoining 
the Knox tract, and embracing 20,000 acres, was sold by 
Samuel Ogden to William Constable, for £1000, on the 
24th of February, 1794. {Secretary's office, I. mortgages 
■i&, p. Ml, ete.) 

" William Constable to Gouverneur Morris. Deed of the 
same 20,000 acre strip, Nov. 17, 1798. {aeries office, b. 
No. 1, p. 39.) Gouverneur Morris acquired of Samuel 
Ogden, by purchase, a second tract, adjoining the last, 
embracing 60,641 acres. May 13, 1799. {Clerk's office, b. 
No. 2, p. 401.) About 9500 acres remained in these two 
towns, which Samuel Ogden and wife conveyed to David 
B. Ogden,t Feb. 29, 1808. {Clerk's office, b. No. 2, p. 
132-33.) David B. Ogden conveyed to Gouverneur Mor- 
ris, July 1, 1808, all that was conveyed to him by Samuel 
Ogden. {Clerk's office, b. No. 2, p. 151.) Gouverneur 
Morris' title was subsequently sold to Edwin Dodge, 

» Delafield was a great operator in financial matters, but was ulti 
mately unfortunate in his speculations. Seixas was a Jew, and lived 
in New York. 

f A son of Samuel Ogden. 

David C. Judson, Augustus Chapman, Abraham Cooper, 
and others. 


were located near the centre of the town, and were usually 
Nos. 55 and 56. The former have since been sold by the 
authority of the legislature, who, on April 21, 1825, passed 
an act authorizing the freeholders and inhabitants of the 
several towns, at their annual town-meeting, to vote direct- 
ing the whole of the income of the gospel and school lots to 
be appropriated to the schools in town. 

" The money received for the sale of these lands has in 
most or all cases been invested, and the interest arisin" 
therefrom applied for the annual expenses of schools. 

" The literature lot in Canton was given to the Lowville 
academy, in Lewis county, and that of Potsdam to the St. 
Lawrence academy in that town. 

" The literatuie lots of Stockholm, Louisville, Lisbon, 
Oswegatchie, Hague, and Cambray were sold by the sur- 
veyor-general, in pursuance of an act of the legislature, in 
1832, and the avails placed in the general literature fund 
of the State, for the common benefit of the academies and 
colleges under the direction of the Regents of the Univer- 

" By an act passed March 23, 1823, the literature lot in 
Madrid was appropriated to Middlebury academy, in the 
county of Genesee ; and to settle the boundaries a law was 
passed on the 17th of March, 1824, by which the east, north, 
and west bounds, as surveyed in 1797, were declared the 
bounds of the mile square, and the southern line so ran as 
to make six hundred and forty acres. Upon receiving a 
fee simple conveyance of this from the proprietors, the 
State released to them their claim to the remainder of the 

" By an act of March 4, 1830, the inhabitants of any of 
the towns of St. Lawrence County having gospel and school 
lots therein were authorized to apply the rents and profits 
to the gospel and schools, or either, as the people assembled 
in town-meeting might direct. The part applied to schools 
was to be paid to the school commissioners, and that to the 
gospel was to be distributed to the different Christian orders 
in the ratio of resident members in full communion with 
any regularly organized church. It is believed that in no 
instance were the funds applied to the latter use. 

"old military tract in CLINTON AND FRANKLIN 

" By the same act under which the ' Ten Townships' 
were sold (passed May 5, 1786), a provision was made for 
the laying out of a tract of land to pay for military services 
rendered by persons in the Revolutionary War. 

" Pour of the ten townships so set apart constitute the 
present towns of Burke, Chateaugay, Belmont, and Frank- 
lin, in Franklin county. 

"By a resolution of the land commissioners, of June 19, 
1786, the surveyor-general was directed to lay out the tract 
as indicated in the act.J This was accordingly done, but 
no part of the tract was ever patented to military claimants, 

X Laud-ofBoe Minutes, vol. i. p. 182. 



being sold like the other lands by the commissioners. 
Townships Nos. 6 and 7, the former now in Clinton and the 
latter in Franklin counties, were patented by the State to 
James Caldwell, of Albany, on Feb. 25, 1785, with the 
usual conditions of patents. On March 6, 1785, Caldwell 
sold to Colin McGregor, of New York, for £500, currency, 
the above townships. On Dec. 19, 1795, Colin McGregor 
sold to John Lamb, William Bell, George Bowne, Joseph 
Pearsall, Henry Haydock, and Edmund Prior, merchants 
of New York, as tenants in common, but in different pro- 
portions, of the lands in townships Nos. 6 and 7. The tract 
was to be divided into lots, for which the purchasers agreed 
to ballot, according to their respective interests therein. The 
following is the list of the lots that fell to the share of each, 
so far as relates to No. 7, or the present towns of Chateau- 
gay, Burke, and a small part of Belmont. Colin Mc- 
Gregor drew Nos. 1, 2, 6 to 12, 14 to 21, 23 to 27, 30, 

33, 35, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 44, 50, 53, 54, 56 to 59, 61 
to 65, 68, 69, 70, 72, 75, 78 to 81, 84 to 87, and 90. 
John Lamb drew Nos. 76, 71, 3, 13, 22, 55, 82, 77. 
William Bell drew Nos. 43, 32, 66, 20, 75, 36, 52, 60, 
313, 89. George Bowne drew Nos. 473 and 33. Joseph 
Pearsall drew Nos. 34 and 40. Henry Haydock drew No. 
88. Edmund Prior drew No. 5. Thomas H. Branting- 
ham, who owned a part of each of these townships, drew 
lots Nos. 51, 28, and 67, which were conveyed to Colin 

" These lots subsequently passed through various hands, 
and township number seven at present forms almost the 
entire settled portion of the military tract in Franklin 

" No. 8 was patented to Colin McGregor Feb. 25, 1795, 
who sold to several parties, and the latter divided* it by 
ballot, as follows : William Bell, Nos. 3, 4, 5, 7, 13, 14, 18, 

34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 87, 88, 93, 94, 99, 43, 71, 72, 
20, 26, 28 ; in all 25 lots. B. Swartwout, Nos. 2, 12, 16, 
30, 53, 57, 66, 69, 78, 80, 92; in all 11 lots. R. L. 
Bowne, Nos. 1, 2, 9, 33, 70, 90, 91, 96 ; in all 7 lots. 
Leonard Gansevoort, Nos. 17, 21, 22, 45, 55, 56, 59, 60, 

73, 79, 84; in all 11 lots. Sir W. Poultney, Nos. 9, 15, 
27, 41, 44, 46, 52, 58, 64, 68, 81, 82, 97, 98, 100 ; in all 
15 lots. His first agent was Col. R. Troop ; present agent, 
Joseph Fellows, of Geneva. Edmund Prior, Nos. 62, 67, 

74, 86; in all 4 lots. Wm. Rhodes, Nos. 36, 51, 54, 76, 
85; in all 5 lots. Wm. Haydock, Nos. 32, 47; in all 2 
lots. Barent Staats, 20 lots, which he sold to the following 
individuals: P. Van Rensselaer, Nos. 48, 49, 50, 61, 63, 
65, 75, 77, 83, 82, 95 ; in all 11 lots. P. Van Loon and 
J. P. Douw, Nos. 6, 8, 11 ; in all 3 lots. A. Van Schaak, 
No. 25. J. Plush, Nos. 10, 23, 31 ; in all 3 lots. M. 
Gregory, No. 19. J. Benson and D. B. Slingerland, No. 
24. A considerable number of the above lots have been 
sold for taxes, and many of the present owners hold their 
titles in this way from the State. 

" Township No. 9 was patented by the State as follows ; 
Lots Nos. 1 to 48, to Gerrit Smith, Aug. 10, 1849 ; b. 34, 
p. 505. Lot No. 51, to Guy Meigs and Samuel C. Wead, 
June 20, 1849 ; b. 36, p. 291. Lots Nos. 61 to 87, to 

* Secretary's office, patents, b. 23, p. 393. 

Gerrit Smith, Aug. 10, 1849 ; b. 34, p. 505. Lots 91 to 
113, also 116 to 126, also 129 to 180, also 182 to 201, also 
202, and 205 to 215, 217 to 228, 231 to 270, 272, 275 to 
287, 290 to 292, 295 to 304, 321 to 323, 325 to 329, 331, 
334 to 342, 355 to 360, to the same, at the same date 
as the other purchases. Portions of the remainder have 
been sold to individuals, and a part is still owned by the 

"Township No. 10 was surveyed by John Richards in 
1813, and sold in part to individuals between 1827 and the 
present time. A large part was sold to Gerrit Smith, 
August 10, 1849, and some lots are still owned by the 

" Massena. — This town was mostly granted in small 
and separate patents to Jeremiah Van Rensselaer and 
others. The first of these grants was made Oct. 23, 1788, 
adjoining the present reservation, and at the mile square. 
These tracts were designated by letters, and extended to the 
letter N. 

" Colonel Louis, the Indian chief to whom a tract in this 
town was conditionally granted in 1789, did not receive a 
patent. He, however, drew lots Nos. 72 and 98, of 600 
acres each, and 55, 11, and 34, of 500 acres each, in Junius, 
N. Y., for his military services. 

" macomb's great purchase. 

" The legislature of the State of New York, at their ses- 
sion in 1791, in order to promote the settlement of their 
lands, passed a law authorizing the commissioners of the 
land-office to dispose of any of the waste and unappropriated 
lands of the State, in such quantities and on such terms 
and in such manner as they should judge most conducive 
to the interest of the public. 

" The extraordinary powers granted by this law have 
been rightly pronounced, in the language of a report made 
not long since to the legislature on another subject, ' too 
great to be intrusted to mortal hands.' 

" Governor Clinton, in his annual message of 1792, com- 
municated a report of the land commissioners, in which 
they said that they had during the year sold 5,542,170 
acres, in less than forty parcels, for £412,173 16s. 8d., and 
that they had endeavored to serve the public interests 

'' In a list of applications that had been received for the 
tract was one from Macomb in April, for all the vacant 
lands between Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence, for 
8d. per acre, in 6 years, without interest, which was rejected 
on account of its extent, ' and because it contained lands 
joining old patents, and fronts too great a proportion of 
water communication.' 

" On May 2 he applied as before, and it was accepted, 
the quantity being reduced. 

" Wm. Henderson had applied for all the military land 
at 9d. per acre, which was rejected. Macomb had no com- 
petitors in his purchase. 

" This report being in order, Mr. Talbott, of Mont- 
gomery, moved a series of resolutions, in which, after enu- 
merating the several acts which had been passed relative to 
the waste lands, and declaring that the spirit and design of 
these had been to afford to those of small means the ability 



to purchase, and to prevent the accumulation of large landed 
estates in the hands of a few, he directly intimated that the 
commissioners had violated the trust reposed in them. It 
appeared a mystery to him that this immense tract had 
been sold for 8c^.,' while adjoining tracts had been sold to 
the Roosevelts for 3s. Id., to Adgate for 2s., to Caldwell, 
McGregor, and Henderson at Is. Sd. per acre. 

" The sale, without interest and privilege of discount by 
paying down, was severely censured. 

" These resolutions were warmly discussed but not passed. 
They were evidently designed as the foundation for an im- 
peachment, but failed in their purpose. Colonel Burr, not 
having attended the meetings of the board, was not included 
in the charges, as he appears to have been absent on official 

" The discussion continued till a late hour, when the 
house adjourned, without decision, until the next day. On 
the 10th of April, 1792, Mr. Melancthon Smith moved the 
following resolution, with a preamble, as a substitute for 
those formerly offered : 

" ' Reaohed, That this house do highly approve of th«- conduct of 
the commissioners of the land-oflBce in the judicious sales hy them as 
aforesaid, which have been productive of the before-mentioned bene- 
ficial effects.' 

" This resolution was adopted by a vote of 35 to 20. 
The following is a copy of the application of Macomb, 
which was received by the commissioners : 

" ' At a meeting of the commissioners of the land-ofBce of the State 
of New York, held at the city hall, in the city of New York, on Wed- 
nesday, the 22d day of June, 1791. 

"'Present — His Excellency George Clinton, Esquire, governor j 
Lewis A. Scott, Esquire, secretary; Gerard Bancker, Esquire, 
treasurer; Peter T. Curtenius, Esq., auditor, 

" ' The application of Alexander Macomb, for the purchase of the 
following tract of land, was read, and is in the following words, to 

" 'To the commissionei's of tlie land-ofiice of the State of New York. 

" 'Gentlemen, — I take the liberty of requesting to withdraw my application 
to your honorable board of April last, and to substitute the following proposal 
for the purchase of the waste and unappropriated lands comprised wilbin the 
bounds hereinafter mentioned, and all the islands belonging to this State in 
front of said lands, viz.: Beginning at the northwest corner of the township 
called Hague, on the river St Lawrence, and thence extending southerly along 
the westerly bounds of the said township, and the township called Cambray, 
to the inoet southerly corner of the latter ; thence extending easterly, north- 
erly, and southerly along the lines of the said township of Cambray, and of the 
townships of De Kalb, Canton, and Potsdam and Stockholm to the eastermost 
corner of the latter; thence northwesterly along the line of the said township 
of Stockholm, and the township of Louis YiUe, to the river St. Lawrence- 
thence along the shore thereof to the line, run for the north line of this State 
in the 45th degree of north latitude; thence east along the same to the west 
bounds of the tract formerly set apart as bounty lands for the troops of this 
State serving in the army of the United States; thence southerly along the 
same to the north bounds of the tract known by the nanicbf Totten and Cross- 
field's purchase ; thence westerly along the north bounds of the tract last men- 
tioned to the westermost corner thereof; thence southerly along the westerly 
bounds thereof to the most westerly corner of township No. 5 in the said 
tract; thence westerly on a direct line to the northwestermost corner of the 
tracts granted to Oothoudt; thence westerly on a direct line to the mouth of 
Salmon river, where it empties itself into Lake Ontario; thence northeasterly 
along theshore of thesaid lake and the river St. Lawrence to thoplacc beginning 
including all the islands belonging to this State fronting the said tract in Lake 
Ontario and the river St. Lawrence, five per cent, to be deducted for highways, 
and all lakes whose area exceeds one thousand acres to be also deducted ■ for 
which, after the above deductions, I will give eight pence per acre, to be paid 
in the following manner, to wit: One-sixth part of the purchase-money at the 
end of one year from the day on which this proposal shall be accepted, and the 
residue in five equal annual installments on the same day in the five next suc- 
ceeding years. The first payment to be secured by bond to the satisfaction of 
your honorable board ; and, if paid on the time limited, and new bonds to the 
satisfaction of the board executed for another sixth of the purchase-money, 
then I shall be entitled to a patent for one-sixth part of said tract, to be set off 

in a square in one of the corners thereof, and the same rule to be observed as 
to the payments and securities and grants or patents until the contract shall be 
fully completed. But if at any time I shall think fit t» anticipate the payments, 
in whole or in part, in that case I am to have a deduction on the sum so paid 
of an interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum for the time I shall have 
paid any such sura before the time hereinbefore stipulated. 
" ' I have the honor to be, gentlemen, 

" ' With great respect, your most obedieut servant, 

"'Alexander Macomb. 

" ' New York, May 2, 1791. 
" ' I do hereby consent and agree that the islands called Caleton's or Buck's 
islands, in the entrance of Lake Ontario, and the Isle An Long Saut, in the 
river St. Lawrence, and a tract equal to six miles square in the vicinity of the 
village of St. Regis, be excepted out of the above ct ntract, and to remain the 
property of the State: Provided always. That if the said tract shall not be 
hereafter applied for the use of the Indians of the said village, that then the 
same shall be considered as included in this contract, and that 1 shall be enti- 
tied to a grant for the same on my performance of the stipulations aforesaid. 

" ' Alexander Macomb.' 

" The board, by a resolution, accepted this proposition, 
and directed the surveyor-general to survey the said tract, 
at the expense of Macomb, and requiring him to secure 
the payment of the first-sixth part of the purchase-money. 
(^Land-Office Minutes, vol. ii. p. 192.) 

" On Jan. 10, 1792, the surveyor-general having made a 
return of the survey above directed, and the'security re- 
quired having been deposited for the payment of the 
southern half of the tract, containing 1,920,000 acres, the 
secretary was directed to issue letters patent accordingly,* 
which was done Jan. 10, 1792.f This portion was tracts 
Nos. 4, 5, 6, situated in Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego 

" In the returns of the survey made under the direction 
of the surveyor-general the lands were laid out into six 
tracts, of which No. 1 lies entirely in Franklin county, and 
Nos. 2 and 3 in St, Lawrence County, 

" These were subsequently subdivided into townships 
named and numbered as follows, with the origin of each so 
far as is known :\ 

" Number One embraced twenty-seven townships. 

Macomb, from Alexander Macomb. 

Coi-machus,^ from Daniel McCor- 

Constable, from Wm. Constable. 

Moira, from a place in Ireland. 

Sangor, from a town in Wales. 

Malone, from a name in the family 
of K. Harrison. 

Annaetown, from a daughter of 

St. Patrick, from the Irish saint. 

Shelah, from a place in Ireland. 

WiUiamsviUe, from a son of Con- 


Bwcrettmillc, from a daughter of 

Dnytmi, from Jonathan Dayton. 


15. Fowler, from Theodosius Fowler. 

16. JoJinsmanor, from a son of Con- 


17. Gilchrist, from Jonathan Gilchris't 

18. Brighton, from a town in Plngland. 

19. Cheltenham, from a town in Eng- 


20. Margate, from a town in England. 

21. Hai-rietstown, from a daughter of 


22. Zoc/tncaj///, from a lake in Ireland. 

23. Kitlarney, from a lake in Ireland. 

24. JBanijmore, fi'om a place in Ire- 


25. Jilount Mmris. 

26. Cove mil. 

27. Tiiypei-arif, from a county in Xi"^ 


"These were numbered from west to east, and from 
north to south. 

* Land-offioo Minutes, vol. ii, p, 232, 
■ t See Office Patents, b, 23, p, 160; see recital in patent to MoCor- 
miok, ib., b, 18, p, 198, etc. 

t In obtaining the origin of these names the author has been 
assisted by A, 0, Brodie, of N, Y,, and Henry B. Pierrepont, of 

? Or MoCormiok. This word is but a play upon the name. 



"Number Two embraced eighteen townships, in the 
eastern part of St. Lawrence County, and south of the ten 
towns, viz. : 

"1. Sherwood. 

2. Oakham. 

3. Mortlake. 

4. Harewood. 

5. Janestown, from a daughter of 


6. PiercefieJd. 

7. GruTish-ucJc. 

8. Hollywood. 

9. Kildare. 

10. Malifdavale. 

11. Wick. 

12. JRiveradale. 

13. Cookham. 

14. CathaHnevUle. 

15. Islington. 

16. Chesfrjield. 

17. Granf^e. 

18. OrMjnacft. 

" This tract was numbered from west to east, commencing 
at the southwest corner, and ending at the north. 

" Number Three was divided into fifteen townships, 

"1. Hammond^ from Abijali Ham 
, 2. Somerville, from a town in New 
*^3. Dewitt^ from the surveyor-general. 
V 4. Filz WiUiam. 

5. Ballyheen^ from McCormick's. na- 
tive place. 
\A. Clare, from a county in Ireland. 
jr. Killarwyj from a county in Ire- 






Edwards^ from a brother of D. 

Sarah shv/}'g, 

Clifton, from a town in England. 

Portafernj, from a town in Ire- 

Scriba, from George Scriba. (?) 

Chamtifmt, from the name of J. D. 
Le Kay. 


EmilyviUe, from a danghter of 

" The numbering of this tract began at the northwest, and 
ran irregularly from west to east. Most of the others have 
been discarded, or are used only in designating tracts of 

" Macomb, soon after his purchase, appointed William 
Constable to go to Europe and sell lands, which he did ; 
but as they are not within our proposed limits, the details of 
these transactions will not be given. The report of this 
sale naturally spread through the State, and put a stop to 
further applications, which led the commissioners to direct 
the surveyor-general (Oct. 11, 1791) to advertise in all the 
papers in the State that the Old Military tract, and large 
tracts lying on the east and south of this, were still for 

" This was accordingly done.* The failure of Macomb 
interrupted the sale and prevented him from receiving the 
patents. On June 6, 1792, he released to William Con- 
stable his interest in tracts 1, 2, and 3.f 

" As many of the transfers that ensued were confidential, 
it would be tedious to follow them, if our space allowed. 
William Constable and Daniel McCormick were the leadins 


negotiators in this business, and after the death of the 
former, in May, 1803, James Constable, John McVickar, 
and Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, as his executors, assumed the 
settlement of the estate and sale of lands. Macomb's in- 
terest in the three tracts was sold June 22, 1791, to William 
S. Smith, Abijah Hammond, and Kichard Harrison, but the 
patents for these tracts were not issued till several years 

"On March 3, 1795, the commissioners of the land- 
office directed the secretary of state to prepare letters patent 
to Daniel McCormick for the third tract of 640,000 acres, 

® Land-office records, p. 220. 

t See's office, patents, b. 23, p. 160. 

the latter, who was an original proprietor with Macomb, 
having paid the sum required into the treasury. This was 
accordingly done.J 

" On July 10, following, McCormick satisfied the claims 
of Smith, Hammond, and Harrison by deeding one-fifteenth 
part of the third tract, and two undivided tenths remaining 
after deducting the said one-fifteenth part, and also one-third 
part of the remainder.§ 

" May 14, 1798, McCormick applied for patents for the 
first and second tracts of Macomb'& purchase, which were 
ordered, and on the day following approved and Aug. 17 
passed by the commissioners. || The first embraced 821,879 
acres, and the second 553,020 acres. 

"The fees charged for issuing a patent for 1,374,839 
acres, granted to McCormick, amounted to $820, of which 
half was paid into the treasury, and the rest the land com- 
missioners divided between them, by virtue of an act of 
Feb. 25, 1789, establishing the fees, which were a certain 
rate per township,^ and of course proportioned to the mag- 
nitude of the sales. 

"On June 21, 1797, the surveyor-general was directed 
by the land commissioners to finish and return a sun'ey of 
the lands contracted and sold to Macomb, and to employ 
none but competent and trusty surveyors on this duty. If 
difficulty arose in finding the starting-point, he was to at- 
tend personally to the matter.** 

" McCormick, by deed to Constable, Sept. 20, 1793, con- 
veyed an undivided third of great lot No. 2,fj' and Dec. 19, 
1800, a partition deed between Macomb and McCormick to 
Constable was executed. Theodosius Fowler, Jonathan 
Dayton, and Robert Gilqhrist, having become interested in 
the tract, a partition deed was executed Jan. 19, 1802, in 
which Hammond, Harrison, Fowler, Gilchrist, and Dayton 
released to McCormick, Constable, and Macomb. In July, 
1804, James D. Le Ray, by purchase from Constable, be- 
came interested in the townships of tracts Nos. 1, 2, and 3. 
He appointed Gouverneur Morris as his attorney. 

" We have prepared a detailed statement of the shares 
received by each in these transfers, but our space will not 
admit of its insertion. The following statement shows the 
names of those to whom the difierent townships were as- 
signed. It is taken from a copy of an original map, kindly 
furnished to the author by P. S. Stewart, Esq., of Carthage, 
the agent of Mr. Le Ray. 

" To condense the statement, the following abbreviations 
will be used : L. — Le Ray de Chaumont ; M. — Alexander 
Macomb ; M. C. — Daniel McCormick ; W. C. — Wni. Con- 
stable ; F, — Theodosius Fowler ; G. F. — Gilchrist Fowler ; 
R. H. — Richard Harrison ; H. — Abijah Hammond ; P.^ — • 
David Parish. 

" Great Tract No. 1, including twenty-seven townships. 
1, M. ; 2, W. C. ; 3, W. C. ; 4, G. F. ; 5, M. C; 6, R. 
H. ; 7, W. C. ; 8, H. ; 9, N. i W. C, middle i H., S. J 
M. C. ; 10, W. C. ; 11, R. H. ; 12, W. C. ; 13, N. W. \ 

\ Seo.'s office, patents, \>. 23, p. 394. 
J Scc.'s office, deeds, 29, p. 157. 

II Land-office records, iii. p. 60. Patents, b. 18, pp. 198, 394, seo.'s 

If lb , iii. p. 5?. »■» lb., iii., page 18. 

ff Deeds, secretary's office, b. 32. 



R. H., E. i not marked ; 14, not marked ; 15, N. W. i 
G. P., N. E. i M. C, south part not marked ; 16, W. C. ; 
17, N. i R. H., middle i M. C, S. i W. C. ; 18, H. ; 19, 
F. ; 20, G. F. ; 21, L. ; 22, M. C. ; 23, M. C. ; 24, N. W. 
i H., N. E. i G. F., S. E. i R. H., S. W. J M. C. ; 25, 

5. i G. F., the rest not marked ; 26, M. C. ; 27, N. W. i 
M. C, the remainder L. 

" Great Tract No. 2, including eighteen townships. 1, 
N. W. i M. C, N. E. i L., S. E. i M. C, S. W. i G. F. ; 
2, N. W. i M., S. W. i G. F., E. i L. ; 3, W. C. ; 4, N. 
W. i L., N. E. i H., S. E. i M. C, S. W. J C. ; 5, M. ; 

6, S. i M. C, N. i M. C, R. H , H., G. F., and L. ; 7, 
M. C. ; 8, N. J R. M., S. J M. C. ; 9, R. H. ; 10, W. C. ; 

11, W. C. ; 12, N. W. i P., N. E. i R. H., S. E. } H., 
S. W. i M. ; 13, P. ; 14, P. and M. ; 15, H. ; 16, R. H. ; 
17, E. part M. C, middle part L., W. part G. F. ; 18, not 

" Great Tract No. 3, including fifteen townships. 1, 
H. ; 2, not marked ; 3, not marked ; 4, E. part H., middle 
part M. C, W. part S. (Madame de Stael ?) ; 5, M. C. ; 6, 
E. i L., W.i8.; 7, G. F. ; 8, M. C. ; 9, M. ; 10, N. W. 
i M., N. B. i L. ; S. E. i R. H., S. W. i H. ; 11, M. C. ; 

12, M. C. ; 13, L. ; 14, not marked; 15, N. E. i M. C, 
N. W. i G. F., S. J L. ; 15, N. E. i L., N. W. i M. L., 
S. E. i M. C, S. W. i G. F. 


were not patented with the lands opposite which they lay, 
nor included in the jurisdiction of any of the towns, al- 
though embraced in the contract of Macomb, with two ex- 
ceptions. It was not deemed advisable to patent any of 
these until the national boundary was decided. By an act 
passed March 17, 1815, they were declared to be a part of 
the respective towns opposite which they lay, and this ex- 
tended to the islands in Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the 
Niagara river. 

" The islands were patented as follows : All the islands 
which lie within this State, between a line drawn at right 
angles to the river, fiom the village of Morristown, situated 
on the shore of the river, and a meridian drawn throuo-h 
the western point of Grindstone island, in the county of 
Jefferson, containing 15,402/^ acres, were granted to Elisha 
Camp, Feb. 15, 1823. In the above grant is included 
Grindstone island, containing 5291 acres; Wells' island, 
containing 8068 acres ; Indian Hut island, containing 369 
acres ; and some small islands without names. 

" Lindy's island, 7.92 acres, to Elisha Camp, Dec. 9, 1823 ; 
nine small islands, 178.8 acres; Isle du Gallop, 492.5 
acres; Tick island, 11 acres; Tibbits island, 17.5 acres; 
Chimney island,* 6.2 acres ; other small islands, 3 acres' 
to Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, Oct. 21, 1824. 

" Rapid Plat, 9763 acres. January 28, 1814, the com- 
missioners of the land-office recognized the right of Daniel 
McCormick to this island. He conveyed it, on the 13th of 
March, 1815, to David A. Ogden. On the 15th of De- 
cember, 1823, the following, with the number of acres in 
each, were patented to McCormick. (The title is recorded 
in book 25, p. 480, of patents, at Albany.) 

« Oraooneaton island, occupied by Fort Levis. 

"Smugglers' island and Johnson's island, 17.72. An 
island near Johnson's island, between that and the United 
States shore, 2.46 ; Sny island, 55.20 ; Chat island, 95.20 ; 
Chrystler's island, 52.80 ; Hog island, 5.29 ; Goose Neck 
island, 405.87 ; Upper Long Saut island, 868.80 ; C island, 
3.1 ; D island, 2.5 ; Haynes' island, 134.56. 

" The Isle au Long Saut was reserved by the State in 
the original sale, from its supposed importance in a military 
point of view, and sold to individuals by the surveyor- 
general, in pursuance of statute, between May 5, 1832, and 
the present time, at the land-office in Albany. 

" Barnhart's island, 1692.95 acres ; two-thirds to David 
A. Ogden and one-third to Gouverneur Ogden, Dec. 15, 

" This island, near St. Regis, lies very near the Canadian 
shore, and a considerable part of it north of the line of 45° 
N. latitude. It was accordingly regarded as British terri- 
tory, and in 1795 it was leased of the St. Regis Indians 
by George Barnhart, for a term of 999 years, at an annual 
rent of $30. The British government had made a practice 
of granting patents upon the issue of similar leases, and 
would doubtless have done so in this instance had applica- 
tion been duly made. 

" In 1806, a saw-mill was built, and arrangements were 
made for the erection of a grist-mill, when the Indians be- 
came dissatisfied and insisted upon a renewal of the lease, at 
an increased rent. Accordingly a lease was given for 999 
years, at $60 annual rent. Deeds had been granted by 
Barnhart, who, with all the other inhabitants of the i.sland, 
were treated as British subjects, until upon running the line 
between the two nations, after the treaty of Ghent, the 
commissioners assigned the island to the United States, as 
an offset for the half of Grand island, at the outlet of Lake 
Ontario, which in justice would have been divided. In 
1823, D. A. Ogden and G. Ogden purchased the islands in 
St. Lawrence County, and with them Barnhart's island. 
The settlers not complying with the offers made, were 
ejected by the State, and they in 1849 applied for redress 
at the State legislature. By an act passed April 10, 1850, 
Bishop Perkins, George Rediugton, and John Fine were 
appointed commissjoners to examine these claims, and 
awarded to the petitioners the aggregate of $6597, which 
was confirmed by an act passed at the following session of 
the legislature. The claimants received as follows : Wm. 
Geo. Barnhart, $1475; Jacob Barnhart, $3284; Geo. 
Robertson, $1127; Geo. Gallinger, $402; and Geo. Snet- 
zinger, $309. 

" The State, in disposing of its lands, conveys them by 
an instrument called a patent, in which there appears no 
consideration of payment, and which purports to be a gift, 
and to be executed by but one party. As reference is often 
made to the reservations of the patent, the form of one is 
here inserted : 

of GOD, free and independent. TO ALL to whom these Presents 
shall come greeting : KNOW YE, That WE HAVE aiven, Granted, 
and ConBrmed, and by these Presents DO GIVE, Grant, and Con- 
firm unto [here follows name, bounds of lands, Ac], TOGETHER 
with all and singular the Rights, Hereditaments, and Appurtenances 
for the same belonging, or in any wise appertaining : EXCEPTING 
and RESERVING to ourselves all Gold and Silver Mines, and five 



Acves of every Hundred Acres of the said Tract of Laod for High- 
ways : TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above described and granted 
Premises unto the said . . ., Heirs and Assigns, as & good and 
indefeasible Estate of Inheritance forever. 

'"ON CONDITION, NEVERTHELESS, That within the Term of 
Seven Years, to be computed from the . . . Date hereof, there 
shall be one family actually settled on the said Tract of Land hereby 
Granted for every six hundred and forty acres thereof, otherwise 
these our Letters Patent and Estate hereby Granted shall cease, de- 
termine, and become void: IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, AVE have 
caused these our Letters to be made Patent, and the great Seal of our 
said State to be hereunto affixed : WITNESS our trusty and well be- 
loved [George Clinton] Esquire Governor of our State, General and 
Commander-in-Chief of all the Militia, and Admiral of the Navy of 
the same.' 

" These instruments are made out by the Secretary of 
State, on the order of the land commissioners, and bear the 
signature of the Governor and the great seal of the State, 
which, in former times, was a large waxen disk, with paper 
on each side, bearing the arms of the State on the face, 
and an impression on the back, which was styled the ' re- 

" 'Tax sales' have caused large tracts of land in the rear 
townships of the great purchase to change hands, and many 
of the present owners hold their titles from this source. In 
March, 1834, 116, 873^ acres were sold in St. Lawrence, 
and 28,323 acres in Franklin counties, amounting, in the 
latter, to $841.73 only. At this sale Peter Smith bid off 
large amounts in these and other counties. In 1839, 43,164 
acres in St. Lawrence, and 65,881 acres in Franklin coun- 
ties were sold. In 1843, 93,690 acres in the former, and 
45,457 acres in the latter. These sales, which formerly 
took place at Albany, have, by a recent act of the legis- 
lature, been very judiciously transferred to the county- 

" These lands have usually been sold at prices scarcely 
nominal. The following are examples : 17,140 acres, 
$185.09; 20,568 acres, $263.02; 21,165 acres, $671.03. 
The State is said to own considerable tracts which have been 
forfeited for taxes. 

" ' Landholders' Reserves' have very frequently been 
made in the northern counties, and generally apply to 
mines and minerals. In some deeds those reserves embrace 
certain specific ores or minerals, and in others the reserva- 
tions are extended to mill seats and mill privileges. A 
clause is commonly inserted by which it is stipulated that 
all damages arising from entering upon the premises, in 
pursuance of the conditions of the reservation, shall be 

'• This has undoubtedly, in some cases, operated as a 
drawback upon the mining interests, as the occupant, 
having no claims upon ores that might exist upon his 
premises, would feel no solicitude about their discovery ; 
and even would take pains to conceal their existence, pre- 
ferring the undisturbed enjoyment of his farm to the an- 
noyance and disturbance that might arise from mineral 

" These reservations of ores are superfluous in sections 
underlaid by Potsdam sandstone, or any of the sedimentary 
series of rock that overlay this formation, as none have 
hitherto been discovered or suspected to exist in any of 
these rocks. 

" It is only in primitive rock, or along the borders of 

this and sedimentary or stratified rocks, that useful ores 
have hitherto been discovered in this section of the State. 


" The following account of these surveys was obtained 
from Mr. Gurdon Smith, a pioneer settler and one of the 
surveyors who run out the great purchase. The north line 
of Totten and Crossfield's purchase was run during the 
Revolutionary War by Jacob Chambers, and forms the 
southern boundary of the great tract. 

" The ten towns had been supposed to be surveyed pre- 
vious to 1799, but some of the lines, if ever marked, could 
not then be found, and a part of them were run out, under 
the direction of Benjamin Wright, of Rome, in 1799. 

" The outlines of the great tract had been surveyed by 

Medad Mitchell and Tupper, — the former from New 

York, — who laid out the great tracts Nos. 1, 2, and 3, but 
did not subdivide it into townships. On finishing their 
work they were at the extreme southeast corner of Franklin 
county, from whence they proceeded through the woods 
towards Rome, but bearing too far to the north, they crossed 
Black river below the High Falls, and when they first 
recognized their situation were in the town of Redfield, 
Oswego county, where one of them had previously surveyed. 

'' When they reached Rome they were nearly famished, 
having been several days on close allowance, and for a short 
time entirely destitute. From one of these surveyors Tup- 
per's lake, on the south border of the county, derives its 
name.. In the winter of 1798-99, Benjamin Wright, 
originally from Connecticut, but then a young man, residing 
in Rome, and by profession a surveyor, obtained from the 
proprietors in New York a contract for surveying the three _ 
great tracts of Macomb's purchase into townships. He had 
been engaged from 1795 till 1798, in company with his 
cousin Moses Wright, in surveying large tracts, and, among 
others, the Black river tract in Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego 

'' From his excellent reputation as a surveyor he was em- 
ployed as a suitable person to superintend the survey of the 
great northern purchase. 

" Early in June, Mr. Wright, with a party of about 
twenty men, started by way of Oneida lake and the St. 
Lawrence river, with a six-handed bateau, to commence 
their operations at St. Regis. They left arrangements for 
three of their number, G. Smith, Moses Wright, and Eben- 
ezer Wright, with eight other men, to come through the 
woods to meet them at Penet's bay, now the village French 
Creek. The latter party started on the 11th of June, 1799, 
having been prevented by the absence of one of their 
number* from getting off till several days after the main 
part of the company had left ; and arrived after a march of 
about four days at the point designated, but, instead of 
finding their companions, they found a letter stating that, 
after waiting in vain several days, they had gone down the 
river. With the exception of a small supply left for their 
support, they were destitute of provisions ; but, making a 
virtue of the necessity, they divided their little stock equally 
between them, and pulling down the little log cabin which 

* Gurdon Smith. 



had served for their shelter, and which was then the only 
tenement in the country, they made of its timber a raft, 
and, following on, came to where some Canadian timber- 
thieves were at work on the American shore, near the head 
of Chippewa bay. 

" Here they found provisions for supplying their most 
pressing hunger, and from hence they were taken in a boat 
to where Brookville now is, then a small settlement. 

" From this they proceeded to Oswegatchie, where they 
overtook the others, and being assembled, they descended 
to St. Regis to commence their operations at that place. 
At the head of the Long Saut two of the number, intimi- 
dated by the swiftness of the current, sUpped out of the 
company and attempted to gain St. Regis by land ; but, on 
arriving at the mouth of Grasse river, they were obliged to 
hire some Indians who were passing to convey them to 
Cornwall, from whence they proceeded to St. Regis. A 
small party, under the direction of G. Smith, was put on 
shore to proceed by land from the Long Saut to St. Regis, 
to make a traverse of the river, who arrived two or three 
days later than those who proceeded by water. 

" The arrival of so many men upon their lands at first 
greatly alarmed the Indians, who .suspected evil designs 
upon their persons or their property, and they assembled in 
arms to repel them ; but at length, being satisfied that their 
designs were altogether peaceable, they were received and 
treated with much kindness. The names of those assem- 
bled at this place for surveying were as follows : 

" Benjamin Wright (principal surveyor), Gurdon Smith, 
Moses Wright, and Ebenezer Wright (the latter cousins of 
B. Wright), Clark Putnam, E. Hammond, Benjamin Ray- 
mond, surveyors at the head of parties, and each having 
his lines assigned him. Each had two axe-men to mark the 
lines, and two chain-men. B. Wright superintended the ope- 
rations of the others, and had the direction of supplying 
the several parties with provisions at cariips that were estab- 
lished at different points. He had his headquarters at the 
mouth of Raquette.river. 

" One of the first duties to be done was to explore the 
Raquette river, and ascertain how far that stream was navi- 
gable, and at what points it was most eligible to establish 
camps. To G. Smith was assigned this duty, and ho with 
two men followed the shore as far up as the present village 
of Potsdam, and, in consequence of this and other explora- 
tions, a camp was established at the present site of Norfolk 
village, at the foot of the rapids on the west side ; another 
near Coxe's mills in Pierrepont ; another at the Canton high 
falls ; and another at Cooper's falls, in De Kalb, and at each 
of these a man was left to take charge of provisions. 

" In commencing operations, Mr. Wright found it a 
matter of the first importance to ascertain the point where 
the line formerly run between the great lots of Macomb's 
purchase intersected the south line on the southern border 
of the county. 

"To determine this Mr. Hammond was dispatched to 
find the point of intersection, but not only failed in this 
but also was detained so long by various causes that his 
absence became a serious source of uneasiness with those 
who were left. He at length came in nearly famished, 
having failed to accomplish his object. 

" Still in hopes of ascertaining these important data, Mr. 
Smith was next sent, with directions to make the most 
careful examinations and not return until, if possible, they 
were found. After traveling nearly as far as was necessary 
to reach the point, the party camped near a river to spend 
the night, in hopes of being so fortunate as to find the 
object of their search the following day. Next morning 
one of their party related a curious dream which he had 
dreamed during the night, in which he related- that they 
seemed to be traveling along and carefully examining every 
object for land-marks, when they came to a bog meadow, 
with scarcely any vegetation but moss, and that on a solitary 
bush which grew apart from all others might be found the 
mark. This dream was treated with derision ; but they 
had scarcely proceeded a quarter of a mile when they came 
to a marsh which the dreamer declared was like that which 
had appeared in his vision, and on careful examination he 
detected the bush and the mark, much to the surprise of 

" The manner in which this anecdote was related leaves 
no doubt of its truth, and it remains a subject for the 
speculation of the p.sychologist to offer a solution. He 
might have heard it related casually, and years before, that 
such a mark had been made in such a place, and this, from 
its trifiing nature, might have made no impression at the 
time and was forgotten, but when it became an object of 
solicitude to ascertain it, the busy thoughts flitting through 
the mind in dreams, without the control of the will, and 
following each other in a succession of which we know no 
law or order, might have brought, unbidden, the welcome 
fact long forgotten, and which no effort of memory in the 
waking state could have recalled. In no other rational 
manner can this singular instance of apparent revelation be 
satisfactorily explained. 

" These different surveying parties spent the summer in 
running some of the principal lines of the great purchase, 
meeting at times with great hardships, from exposure to the 
elements, want of provisions, and misunderstanding of in- 
structions, from the imperfect knowledge possessed of the 
different lakes, streams,, and rivers in the country. 

" Towards fall the several parties proceeded back to Rome, 
where they all resided, some by water, and two parties 
(Smith's and Raymond's) through the forest. 

" An incident occurred in Mr. Smith's party worthy of 
record. He had procured a supply of provisions, about 
twenty-five miles below Tupper's lake, of a party who had 
been sent by Mr. Wright for this purpose, and thence, in 
pursuance of instructions, he had turned back to the south 
line, and had proceeded on this to the extreme southwestern 
corner of St. Lawrence County, where they camped for 
the night. In the morning, it being foggy and misty, two 
of his men had conceived that the coui-se he proposed to 
take, in order to reach the High falls on Black river (S. 
25° W.), was not in the direction of their homes, notwith- 
standing the evidence of the compass, and peremptorily re- 
fused to accompany him. The course they proposed to 
take was back on the south line towards Lake Champlain, 
and no argument or expostulation could convince them that 
they were in error. 

" Mr. Smith endeavored to remonstrate by showing that 



the line was obscure, and would soon be lost, and that they 
must then wander at random and perish in the forest, which 
had then no limits but the St. Lawrence, Black, and Mo- 
hawk rivers. But finding entreaties vain, he divided his 
provisions equally between them, and they shouldered their 
knapsacks and started. At this trying moment those that 
remained, tortured with fear that tlie missing men would 
be lost, and that their blood would be required at their 
hands, resolved to remain in the place they were a short 
time, in hopes that the deluded men would lose their course 
and call for assistance before they had got beyond hailing 
distance; and so it providentially proved, for their receding 
forms had scarcely disappeared in the distance than, from 
the very anxiety they felt to keep their line, they became 
confused and perplexed, and a faint shout in the distance 
conveyed back to those who remained the joyful news that 
the misguided men had discovered their folly in time to be 

" Mr. Smith, who had been listening intently to learn 
whether such would not be the result, instantly sprang 
upon his feet, and bidding his men remain in the place 
they were, he darted oiF in the direction of the cry, and at 
length overtook them, much to the relief of all parties. 

" Being by this time convinced of their error, and willing 
to trust that most reliable guide the compass, they willingly 
consented to follow the others, thankful for having dis- 
covered their folly in season. Had not the others remained 
where they were, the two parties would have been beyond 
hailing distance, and the consequences must have been 
fatal. The company on the third day arrived at the High 
falls, having struck the road, then newly cut from that 
place to Brown's tract, at a point seven miles from the 

-' In May, 1800, Mr. B. Wright, Mr. M. Wright, G. 
Smith, and B. Raymond returned with men by way of 
Lake Ontario, and finished during that season the survey 
of their contract, embracing the first three great lots of 
Macomb's purchase. The headquarters during this summer 
was also at St. Regis, but nothing worthy of notice oc- 
curred. In the latter part of the summer they returned 
home with their work finished." 


The posts and missions established by the French were 
abandoned at the close of the war in 1760, and the occu- 
pants and those connected with La Presentation wore scat- 
tered in various directions, mostly going into Canada and 
to the Indian settlement at St. Regis. 

The earliest settlements succeeding the French occupa- 
tion were made under the patronage and direction of the 
various landholders, corporate and individual, who had 
purchased tracts in the region now occupied by St. Law- 
rence County. 

The very earliest settlement seems to have been made in 
the town of Madrid, in 1793. Following this were others 
at Ogdensburg, 1796; Massena, 1798; Louisville and Can- 
ton, 1800; Lawrence, 1801; Stockholm, Hopkinton, and 
De Peyster, 1802 ; De Kalb and Potsdam in 1803, and in 
various parts of the county from that time until about 
1812, when nearly every town had been settled more or 

less. The latest settlements were made in Fine in 1823 
and Pitoairn in 1824. 

A large number of the early settlers were from New 
England, and principally from Vermont, whose hardy sons 
filled the valleys of the St. Lawrence and Black river very 
rapidly in the beginning of the present century. 

Many were also from the older settled counties of the 
State of New York, and there were a few from New Hamp- 
shire, Miis.sachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Quite 
a colony of Scotch settled dming the years 1818-19-21 in 
the town of Hammond, and a few Canadians have at va- 
rious times made their homes in the county. 

" The proprietors seldom made their tracts their homes, 
but their agents were generally from the eastern States, 
and men of influence in their own localities, and we find 
that the first settlers in the several towns were often from 
the same neighborhoods. 

" Winter was usually selected for moving, as the streams 
and swamps were then bridged by ice, and routes became 
passable which at other times would be wholly impractica- 
ble. A few of the first settlers entered with their families 
by the tedious and expensive navigation of the Mohawk 
river to Fort Stanwix, and thence, by the canal at that 
place, through Wood creek, Oneida lake and river, Oswego 
river. Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence to their desti- 
nation, and others by the equally toilsome and more dan- 
gerous water route from Lake Champlain and up the St. 

'' Had any accidental circumstances thrown the fortunes 
of the War of 1758-1760 into the opposite scale, giving to 
the French the ascendency, this district might have con- 
tinued as it began, inhabited by a French population, and 
exhibiting that stationary and neglected aspect still seen in 
their settlements below Montreal ; unless, perhaps, the com- 
mercial wants of the country might have called forth the 
expenditure of extraneous capital in the opening of lines of 
communication. Thus the events of a remote historical 
period have modified the character of till that follow, and 
with those who take a pleasure in watching the relations of 
cause and effect there can be nothing more instructive than 
observing how necessarily dependent upon the past are the 
events of the future. 

" The claims of history upon the attention of those who 
seek probabilities in precedents is, therefore, direct, ^nd of 
an importance proportionate to the proximity of time and 
place rather than the magnitude of the events. The mighty 
changes in nations and empires, and the records of the vir- 
tues and vices of mankind which adorn or disgrace the pages 
of ancient history, are instructive as showing the lights and 
shades of human character, but they have, to a great degree, 
lost their practical bearing from their dissimilarity to ex- 
isting conditions: Their consequences remain, but so inter- 
woven in the fabric of our civilization as to be inseparable. 
The nearer we approach the present the more obvious are 
the effects of causes, and there are few prominent events of 
American history which have not left their operation upon 
existing conditions, and between which may be traced the 
direct relation of cause and consequence. 

" In pursuing the history of any district, nothing is more 
obvious than the fact that causes apparently the most trivial 


often produce the most lasting eiFects ; and hence the minor 
details of a settlement may possess in reality more impor- 
tance than was attached to them at the time of their occur- 
rence. To borrow the figure of Macaulay, ' the sources of 
the noblest rivers that spread fertility over continents, and 
bear richly-laden fleets to the sea, are to be sought in wild 
and barren mountain tracts, incorrectly laid down in maps 
and rarely visited by travelers.' To extend this figure, we 
may add that the slightest causes may give direction to the 
mountain rill, and thus influence the course of the river 
and tlie consequent fertility of the country which it irri- 
gates. The origin of our various institutions, literary, civil, 
religious, and social, are especially susceptible of receiving 
their future direction from causes operating at the time of 
origin ; and hence arises the importance of knowing these 
data, to be able to appreciate in its various bearings existing 
relations and agencies." 

A particular account of the settlements will be found in 
the histories of the several towns and villages which consti- 
tute another department of this work. 



The Colony under Dutch and English Rule — First Formation of Coun- 
ties—Boundaries of Albany, Tryon, Montgomery, Clinton — Act 
of Erection of St. Lawrence — Boundaries of 1813 — Erection of 
Towns — The Law Courts — Their Derivation — Colonial Courts — 
Courts of St. Lawrence County — Present Tribunals — Board of 
Supervisors — Public Buildings — Court-Houses and Jails — Poor- 
Houses — Asylums — Children's Home. 

A GLANCE backward from the stand-point of to-day 
shows civil government was first established, in what is now 
the State of New York, by the Dutch, in 1621. In 1664 
their colony passed under the English rule, where it re- 
mained until the Revolution, except for a brief interval in 
1673-74, when the Dutch regained a temporary supremacy. 
Under the Dutch the only civil divisions were the city 
and towns. In 1665 a district or shrievalty, called York- 
shire, was erected, comprising Long island, Staten island, 
and a part of the present county of Westchester. For 
judicial purposes it was divided into the east, west, and 
north ridings. Counties were first erected by the Colonial 
Assembly in April, 1683, and were twelve in number, as 
follows : Albany, Cornwall, Dukes, Dutchess, Kings, New 
York, Orange, Queen's, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster, and 
Westchester. In 1766 Cumberland county was erected 
and Gloucester county in 1770, and Tryon and Charlotte 
counties were erected in 1772. Cornwall was in the present 
State of Maine, and Dukes in Massachusetts, and were re- 
ceded to the latter colony, so that at the time of the Revo- 
lution there were fourteen counties in the State or rather 
province, of New York. Since then Gloucester, Cumberland, 
and a part of Charlotte counties have been ceded to Vermont. 
The county of Albany, as originally erected, contained 
within its boundaries the present area of St. Lawrence, and 
was thus limited in the act of erection : " To conteyne the 
towne of Albany, the colony of Rensselaerswyck, Sehonec" 

tade, and all the villages, neigborhoods, and Christian habi- 
tacons on the east of Hudson's river, from Roeleffe Jausen's 
creek, and on the west from Sawyer's creek to the Saraagh- 
tooga." Tryon county, so named in honor of the governor 
of the province at the date of its erection (1772), was taken 
from Albany (the latter named in honor of the Duke of 
Albany, one of the younger scions of the royal family, in 
1665), and its boundaries comprised the country west of a 
north and south line extending from St. Regis to the west 
bounds of the township of Schenectady ; thence running, 
irregularly, southwest to the head of the Mohawk branch 
of the Delaware river, and along the same to the southeast 
bounds of the present county of Broome ; thence in a north- 
westerly direction to Fort Bull, on Wood creek, near the 
present village of Rome ; all west of that last-named line 
being Indian territory. 

On the adoption of the Constitution, in 1777, the four- 
teen counties, into which the State was divided as above 
named, were recognized and continued. On April 2, 1784, 
Tryon county was subdivided, and several counties erected 
from its territory, and its own name lost in that of Mont- 
gomery. The boundaries of the latter county were defined, 
in 1788, as follows : " Bounded easterly by Albany, Ulster, 
Washington, and Clinton counties ; southerly, by the State 
of Pennsylvania ; and west and north, by the bounds of the 
State in those directions." March 7, 1788, Clinton county 
was erected from Washington, and, in 1801, an act rede- 
fining the boundaries of the counties in the State thus 
limited Clinton : " To contain all that part of the State 
bounded southerly by the county of Essex and the north 
line of Totten and Crossfield's purchase ; east, by the east 
bounds of the State ; north, by the north bounds of the 
State; and west, by the west bounds of the State; and the 
division line between great tracts Nos. 3 and 4 of Macomb's 
purchase continued to the west bounds of the State." 
March 6, 1801, the ten towns so called had been formed 
into a town called Lisbon and annexed to Clinton county, 
and the act redefining the boundaries of the counties at- 
tached to Lisbon all the balance of the present area of St. 

The next important movement was the erection of the 
county of St. Lawrence, and concerning that act we quote 
from the excellent history of the county compiled by Dr. 
Franklin B. Hough, of Lowville, in 1852. 

" The causes which led to 
the organization of St. Law- 
rence County are set forth in 
the following interesting docu- 
ment, which is the original 
petition for its erection, and is 
preserved among the archives of 
the State, and possesses much 
value, from its being said to 
contain the signatures of nearly 
all the citizens then living in 
the county. The original is 
written in a remarkably neat 
and elegant hand, and the signatures arc in every instance in the 
autograph of the signers.* 

■•* The original petition ia in the handwriting of John King, father 
of Hon. Preston King. 



"* To the Honorahle the Senate and Aaaemhly of the State of Neto 
York : 

"'The petition of the inhabitants, residing within the ten town- 
ships upon the river St. Lawrence, beg leave humbly to represent the 
great inconvenience and hardships they labor under, by the ten town- 
ships being formed into one town, and annexing the same to the 
county of Clinton. The principal inconvenience your petitioners 
labor under is the very remote distance they are placed from Platts- 
burgh, which is the county town of the county of Clinton. Not any 
of your petitioners are less than one hundred and twenty miles from 
Plattsburgh, and a great majority of them ai-e from one hundred and 
thirty to forty miles. 

"'Between the ton townships and Plattsburgh much of the way 
there is no road, and the remainder of the way is a very bad onej 
this, together with the great inconvenience and expense which neces- 
sarily must arise to those whose private business (as plaintiffs and 
defendants) lead them into the county courts, is such as to almost 
place your petitioners without the reach of that justice which the 
laws of our country so happily provide for. This is a melancholy 
fact, which several of your petitioners have already experienced, and 
to which all are equally exposed, and when we add to this the extreme 
difl&oulty, troubles, and expenses jurors and witnesses must be sub- 
jected to, in attending at such a distance, -together with the attend- 
ance at Plattsburgh, for arranging and returning the town business, 
increases the burttien and expense beyond the ability of your peti- 
tioners to bear. Your petitioners forbear to mention many other in- 
conveniences, though sensibly felt. Your petitioners presume they 
will naturally occur to the minds of every individual member of your 
honorable body. Some of your petitioners presented a petition to 
your honorable body, at their last session, praying for the formation 
of the town and annexing it as it now is, but they did not then 
(neither could they) anticipate the inconvenience and expense they 
find upon experiment attaches to their being so connected. 

*■ * Your petitioners therefore beg leave humbly to state that much 
less hardship and expense would arise to them by having a county 
set off, upon the river St. Lawrence, and your petitionei-s humbly 
pray that a county may be set off upon the aforesaid river, in such 
manner as your honorable body shall deem most proper; and your 
petitioners would beg leave further to shew that one of the old stone 
buildings at the old Oswegatchie fort (which the proprietors are will- 
ing to appropriate until the county is able to build a court-house) 
may, at a small expense, be repaired, and which, when so repaired, 
will make good accommodations not only for the purpose of holding 
courts, but also for a gaol, and your petitioners pray that place may 
be assigned for the above purpose. 

"'Your petitioners would beg leave further to state that Platts- 
burgh is totally out of their route to the city of Albany, which is the 
place to which they must resort for their commercial business. 
Plattsburgh being as far distant from Albany as the ten towns, con- 
sequently your petitioners are turned out of their way the whole dis- 
tance, between the ten towns and Plattsburgh, which is not less than 
one hundred land thirty miles from the centre of the townships. 

" ' The peculiar inconvenience and hardships your petitioners labor 
under is such that your petitioners doubt not that relief will be cheer- 
fully granted by your honorable body, and your petitioners as in 
duty bound will ever pray. 

" ' Nathan Ford, 
John Tibbets, 
EHsha Tibbetts, 
Joseph Edsall, 
Alex. J. Turner, 
John Tibbits, Jr., 
Alex. Bough, 
Jacob Redington, 
Benjamin Stewart, 
Joel Burns, 
Janies G. Stewart, 
Ashael Kent,* 
Challis Fay, 
Joseph Gilderslieve, 
Elias Demmick, 
Ephraim Smith Ray- 
Moses Patterson, 
Henry Allen, 
Edward Lawrence, 
Jonathan Allen,* 
James Pennock, 
Asa Freeman, 
Truman Wheeler, 
Coney Rice, 
Andrew Rutherford, 
"Walter Rutherford, 
Richard Rutherford, 
Thomas Rutherford, 
Isaac Parll,* 
Jonathan Ingraham, 
Joseph Thurber, 
John Thurber, 
Thomas J, Davies, 
Reuben Hurd, 
Aaron Welton, 

Jacob Flemmen, 
•John Lyon, 
Daniel Barker, Jr., 
Jacob Morris, 
Samuel Fairchild, 
Alexander Leyers, 
Daniel Sharp,* 
Festus Tracy, 
Septy Tracy, 
John Armstrong, 
Martin Easterly, 
Alexander Brush, 
James Harrison, 
Stillman Foot, 
Alex. Armstrong, 
Jacob Cerner, Jr.,* 
Christian Cerner,* 
Jonathan Tuttle, 
Benj. Bacon, Sr., 
Benj. Bacon, Jr., 
Oliver Linsley, 
Henry Erwin, 
Nathan Shaw, 
Caleb Pumroy, 
Capt. Eben Arthur, 
William Scott, 
Jacob Pohlman, 
David Rose, 
John Stewert, 
Samuel Thacher, 
John Sharp, 
John Armstrong, 
David Linsley, 
Jacobus Bouge,^* 
David Giffin, 
William Peck, 

James Sweeny, 
George Foot, 
Ashbel Sikes, 
John Farwell, Jr., 
Joseph Erwin, 
Moses McConnel, 
Benjamin Campbell, 
Godfrey Myers, 
Seth Gates, 
James Kilborn, 
James Ferguson, 
Solomon Linsley, Sr., 
Isaac Bartholomew, 
Solomon Linsley, Jr., 
Nathan Smith, 
Jacob Cerner, Sr.,* 
AVilliam Sweet, 
William Morrison, 
Daniel Barker, 
Samuel Avens, 
Elisha Johnes, 
John Smith, 
Benjamin Walker, 
David Layton, 
John Pecor, 
Peter Woodcok, 
John Barnard, 
Benj. Nichols, 
Seth Ranney, 
Lazar Laryers,* 
Titus Sikes, 3d, 
William Lyttle, 
William Lyttle, Jr., 
William Osborn, 
Hira Pain, 
Joseph Orcut, 

* Uncertain. 

George Davies, 
Rial Dickonson,* 
Major Watson, 
Thomas Le Gard,* 
Benj. Mollis,* 
Elijah Carley, 
Adam Williams, 
David Carter, 
William Sharp, 
John King, 
Thomas Kingsbury, 
Peter Sharp, 
James Salisbury, 
Zina B. Hawley,-' 
John Lyttle, 
Ezekiel Palmer, 

Jeduthan Baker, 
Kelsey Thurber, 
John Cook, 
James Harrington, 
Joel Harrington, 
Samuel Umberston, 
Stephen Foot, 
Jeremiah Corastock, 
Daniel Mackneel, 
Robert Sanford, 
Justin Hitchcock, 
Jeduthan Farrell, 
Holden Farnsworth,* 
Richard Harris, 
James Higgins, 
Samuel Steel, 

Eliphalet Blsworth, 
RolDert Sample, 
Isaac Cogswell, 
Reuben Field, 
Henry Reve,* 
Asa Fenton, 
Joshua Fenton, 
Jason Fenton, 
Joseph Freeman, 
Josiah Page, 
Peter Dudley, 
Ahab Harrington, 
Calvin Hubbard, 
Amos Lay, 

David ,* 

John Storring.' 

"This petition was received in the assembly on the 8th of Feb- 
ruary, 1802, read and referred to a committee consisting of the 
following gentlemen : Mr. Dirck Ten Broek, of Albany county ,- Mr. 
Solomon Martin, of Otsego county; Mr. Archibald Mclntyre, of 
Montgomery county; Mr. William Bailey, of Clinton county; Mr. 
Abel French, of Denmark, then Oneida county. 

" The bill passed the house of assembly on the 18th of that month, 
and subsequently resulted in the passage of the following: 

"'an act to euect part op this state into a countv, bv the name 

OF the county of ST. LAWRENCE. 

Passed March 3, 1802, 

" 'I. Be it enacted bj/ the people of the State of New York, repreaeiited 
in Sennfe and Assenibli/, That all that tract of land beginning in the 
line of the river St. Lawrence, which divides the United States from 
the dominions of the king of Great Britain, where the same is in- 
tersected by a continuation of the division-Une of great lots numbers 
three and four of Macomb's purchase; thence running southeasterly 
along the said line until it comes opposite to the westerly corner of 
the township of Cambray ;f then in a straight line to the said corner 
of Cambray ; then along the rear lines of the said township of Cam- 
bray, and the townships of De Kalb, Canton, Potsdam, and Stock- 
holm, distinguished on the map of the said township, and filed in 
the secretary's office by the surveyor-general; then by a line to be 
continued in a direct course from the line of the said township of 
Stockholm, until the same intersects the division-line of the great 
lots numbers one and two in Macomb's purchase; thence northerly 
along the same to the lands reserved by the St. Regis Indians; then 
westerly along the bounds thereof to the dominions of the king of 
Great Britain ; thence along the same to the place of beginning, 
shall be, and is hereby erected into a separate county, and shall be 
called and known by the name of St. Lawrence. 

** ' II. And be it further enacted, That all that part of the said 
county lying westward of the boundary lines of the townships of 
Lisbon and Canton, as distinguished on the map aforesaid, shall be, 
and hereby is erected into a town by the name of Oswegatchie; and 
the first town-meeting in the said town shall be held at the house 
of Nathan Ford; imd the said townships of Lisbon and Canton 
shall continue and remain one town by the name of Lisbon. And that 
all that part of the said county known and distinguished in the map 
aforesaid by the townships of Madrid and Potsdam, shall be, and 
hereby is erected into a town by the name of Madrid; and the first 
town-meeting in the said town shall be held at the house of Joseph 
Edsall. And that all the remaining part of the said county shall be, 
and hereby is, erected into a town by the name of Massena; and that 
the first town-meeting in the said town shall be held at the house of 
Amos Lay. 

"' \11. And he it further enacted. That the freeholders and inhab- 
itants of the several towns erected or continued by this act shall be, 
and are hereby empowered to hold town-meetings, and elect such 
town-officei's as the freeholders and inhabitants of any town in this 
State may do by law ; and that the freeholders and inhabitants of 
the several towns, and the town-ofiicers to be by them elected respec- 
tively, shall have the like powers and privileges as the freeholders, 
inhabitants, and town-officers of any town in this State. 

"'IV. And be it farther enacted, That there shall be held, in and 
for the said county of St. Lawrence, a court of common pleas and 
general sessions of the peace, and that there shall be two terms of 
the same courts in every year, to commence and end as follows, — 
that is to say : The first term of the said court shall begin on the 
first Tuesday in June, in every year, and may continue to be held 
until the Saturday following, inclusive; and the second term of the 
said court shall begin on the second Tuesday of November, in every 
year, and may continue to be held until the Saturday following, in- 
clusive; and the said courts of common pleas and general sessions 
of the peace, shall have the same jurisdiction, powers, and authorities, 
in the same county, as the courts of common picas and general ses- 
sions of the peace in the other counties of this State have in their 
respective counties. Provided always, That nothing in this act con- 
tained shall be construed to affect any suit or action already com- 
menced, or that shall be commenced, before the first Tuesday in 
Juno next, so as to work a wrong or prejudice to any of the parties 
therein, or to affect any criminal or other proceedings on the part of 

f Gouverneur, 



the people of this State; but all such civil and criminal proceedings 
shall and may be prosecuted to trial, judgment, and execution, as if 
this act had never been passed. 

'"V. And he it further enacted, Thut until legislative provision 
be made in the premises the said court of common pleas and general 
sessions of the peace shall be held in the old barracks, so called, in 
the said town of Oswegatchie, which shall be deemed in law the 
court-house and jail of the said county of St. Lawrence. 

'"VI. And be it further enacted, That the freeholders and inhabi- 
tants of the said county shall have and enjoy, within the same, all 
and every of the said rights, powers, and privileges, as the free- 
holders and inhabitants of any county in this State are by law en- 
titled to have and enjoy. 

" ' VII. And be it further enacted. That it shall not be the duty of 
the supreme court to hold a circuit court in every year in the said 
county, unless, in their judgment, they shall deem it proper and 
necessary ; any law to the contrary notwithstanding. 

*" VIII. ^)irf he it further enacted. That the said county of St. 
Lawrence .'hall be considered as part of the western district of this 

"'IX. And be it further enacted, That all the residue of the tract 
of land lying between the division lines aforesaid, of great lots 
numbers three and four, and of great lots numbers one and two, in 
Macomb's purchase, and the north bounds in Totten and Crossfield's 
purchase, shall, until further legislative provision in the premises, 
be considered as part of the town of Massena, in the said county of 
St. Lawrence J and all that part of Macomb's purchase included in 
great division number one, and the Indian reservation at the St. 
Regis village, shall be annexed to, and form part of, the town of 
Chateaugay, in the county of Clinton. 

" ' X. And he it further enacted. That the .=aid county of St. Law- 
rence shall be annexed to, and become part of the district now com- 
posed of the counties of Herkimer, Otsego, Oneida, and Chenango, 
as it respects all proceedings under the act entitled, "An 'act rela- 
tive to district attorneys." 

" ' XI. And be it further enacted. That until other provision he 
made by law, the inspectors of election in the several towns in the 
said county of St. Lawrence, shall return the votes taken at any 
election for governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, members of the 
assembly, and members of Congress, to the clerk of the county of 
Oneida, to be by him estimated as a part of the aggregate number 
of votes given at such election, in the county of Oneida.' " 

By refeniEg to the first section of the act above recited, 
it will be seen that the boundaries there given of St. Law- 
rence County include but a small portion of territory aside 
from that included in the limits of the ten towns so called ; 
the' balance of the present area of the county being, by sec- 
tion IX., annexed temporarily to the town of Massena. In 
the revision of the statutes of the State, in 1813, the act 
dividing the State into counties, passed April 26 of that 
year, redefined the boundaries of St. Lawrence County as 
follows : 

" Beginning at a place in the St. Lawrence river, where 
a continuation of the division line between great lots num- 
bers three and four of Macomb's purchase intersects the 
line dividing the United States and the dominions of the 
king of Great Britain ; thence southeasterly along said line 
between said great lots three and four to the northwest 
corner of Totten and Crossfield's purchase; thence alono- 
the north bounds thereof easterly to the division line be- 
tween great lots numbers one and two of Macomb's pur- 
chase ; thence northerly along said division line to lands re- 
served to the St. Regis Indians ; thence along the west 
bounds of said reservation to the dominions of the king of 
Great Britain ; thence westwardly along the line of said 
dominions to the place of beginning."* 

The boundaries thus defined have obtained ever sincei 
unchanged in any particular. 

Down to 1849 towns were erected by the legislature at 
which date power was given to the several boards of super- 
visors (except in New York county), by a vote of two- 
thirds of the members elected, to divide or alter the bounds 
of any town, or erect' new ones, when such division does not 

' Revised Statutes, 1813, vol. ii. page 37. 

place parts of the same town in more than one assembly 
district. (See Laws of 1849, chap. 194, p. 293.) 

The towns of St. Lawrence County were erected as 
follows : 

Lisbon (including the ten towns), March 6, 1801. 

Oswegatchie, from Lisbon, March 3, 1802. 

Madrid, from Lisbon, March 3, 1802. 

Massena, from territory attached to Lisbon, March 3, 

Canton, from Lisbon, March 28, 1805. 

Hopkinton, from Massena, March 2, 1805. 

DeKalb, from Oswegatchie, Feb. 21, 1806. 

Potsdam, from Madrid, Feb. 21, 1806. 

Stockholm, from Massena, Feb. 21, 1806. 

Russell, from Hopkinton, March 27, 1807. 

Gouvemeur, from Oswegatchie, April 5, 1810. 

Louisville, from Massena, April 5, 1810. 

Rossie, from Russell, Jan. 27, 1813. 

Parishville, from Hopkinton, March 18, 1814. 

Fowler, from Rossie and Russell, April 15, 1816. 

Pierrepont, from Russell and Potsdam, April 15, 1818. 

Morristown, from Oswegatchie, March 27, 1821. 

Norfolk, from Louisville and Stockholm, April 9, 1823. 

Brasher, from Massena, April 21, 1825. 

De Peyster, from Oswegatchie and De Kalb, March 24, 

Edwards, from Fowler, April 7, 1827. 

Hammond, from Roissie and Morristown, March 30, 1827. 

Lawrence, from Hopkinton and Brasher, April 21, 1828. 

Hermonf from Edwards and De Kalb, April 17, 1830. 

Pitcairn, from Fowler, March 29, 1836. 

Macomb, from Gouvemeur and Morri,stown, April 3, 

Colton, from Parishville, April 12, 1843. 

Fine, from Russell and Pierrepont, March 27, 1844. 

Waddington, from Madrid, Nov. 22, 1859. 

Clifton, from Pierrepont, April 21, 1868. 

City of Ogdensburg (three wards), April 27, 1868. 

City of Ogdensburg (fourth ward), 1873. 

City of Ogdensburg first incorporated as a village, April 
15, 1817. 

Canton village first incorporated May 14, 1845. 

Gouvemeur village first incorporated April 19, 1868. 

Potsdam village first incorporated March 31, 1831. 

Norwood J village first incorporated 1872. 

Waddington village first incorporated April 26, 1825. 


The line of descent of the judicial system of New York 
can be traced backward, by those curious to do so, through 
colonial times to Magna Charta, and beyond into the 
the days of the Saxon Heptarchy in England. The great 
instrument wrested by the barons from the king at Runny- 
mede, a.d. 1215, was but a regathering of the rights and 
privileges of which John and his Norman predecessors had 
despoiled the order of nobles of the realm. A comparison 
of the charters of liberties, drawn up by the colonial i;sseni- 

t As Depoau; changed to Hcrmon Feb. 28, 1834. 
\ As Potsdam Junction. 



blies of 1683 and 1691, and the bill of rights adopted by 
the State in 1787, with the great charter, will disclose many 
provisions of like import. 

But the courts were first introduced into what is now 
the State of New York, by the Dutch, at the institution of 
their rule in 1621, the director-general and his council 
being a trinity of legislative, executive, and judicial au- 
thority. In 1641-42 the " Nine Men" held a weekly court, 
and in 1653 the Burgomasters and Schepens of New Am- 
sterdam (New York) and Fort Orange (Albany) were 
created, and held courts corresponding to the present Mayor 
and Aldermen's courts to which the Dutch tribunal 
was changed on the accession of the English, in 1664. 
The Dutch Knickerbocker, Killian Van Rensselaer, held a 
Patroon's court, in his manor of Rensselaerswyck (now 
Troy), where he dispensed justice (?) after the manner of 
feudal times, and practically made his tribunal a court of 
last resort, by rendering nugatory all rights of appeal there- 
from by a pledge exacted from his tenants in advance to 
forego their privilege in that respect, as a condition pre- 
cedent to occupancy of his estates. The director-general 
and council held the Orphan court as their prerogative, 
the Burgomasters being, on their creation, ex-officio orphan 
masters, until, on their own application, they were relieved 
of the burden, and special orphan masters appointed. 

The first English court established in the colony was the 
court of assizes, created by the code known as the " Duke's 
Laws," promulgated by an assembly at Hempstead, L. I., 
in 1665. Courts of sessions and town courts were also 
provided by this code, and a commission for a court of 
oyer and terminer,' for the trial of capital offenses, when 
the information was filed in the court of sessions more than 
two months before the sitting of the assizes. These courts 
were abolished by the assembly of 1683, which passed an 
act "to settle courts of justice,'' under which courts of 
sessions, oyer and terminer, town and justices' courts were 
re-established with increased jurisdiction, and a court of 
chancery created. The assembly of 1691 repealed all legis- 
lation of the former assembly, and of the governor and 
council, and established, as a temporary expedient, the 
courts of sessions, confining their jurisdiction to criminal 
matters ; courts of common pleas, with civil jurisdiction ; 
justices' courts in the towns, the court of chancery, and a 
supreme court of judicature. These courts were enacted 
in 1691, 1693, and 1695, and ceased in 1698, by Umita- 
tion. The court of oyer and terminer was not continued 
in 1691 as a separate tribunal, but its name was retained 
to distinguish the criminal circuit of the supreme court. 
On the 15th of May, 1699, the governor (Earl Bellomont), 
and council, by an ordinance continued the courts of the 
assembly of 1691, with the exception of the court of 
chancery, which last, however, was revived August 28, 
1701, by Lieutenant-Governor Nanfan, who declared him- 
self the chancellor thereof; but Lord Cornbury, then gov- 
ernor, on the 13th of June, 1703, suspended the tribunal. 
On the preparation by the chief and second judges of the 
province of a fee-bill and code of practice for the same, 
Cornbury finally, Nov. 7, 1704, re-established the court, 
and revived the cases pending therein at the date of his 
suspension of it. All of the above tribunals, continued or 

revived by the ordinances before named, were held by that 
authority alone until the English rule was abrogated by the 
Revolution for American Independence. 

A court of appeals, for the correction of errors only, was 
established in 1691, but appeals in certain cases would lie 
from it to the king in privy council. It was composed of 
the governor and his council, who sat in the fort when con- 
vened in that capacity. The prerogative court (court of 
probates) was held by the governor during the colonial 
period by virtue of the instructions received by that official 
from the crown ; the granting of probates being a part of 
the royal prerogative retained by the king. The courts of 
common pleas, in remote counties, were authorized to take 
the proof of wills, and transmit the papers for record in the 
ofiice at New York. Surrogates, with limited powers, were 
appointed previous to 1750 also in other counties. A court 
of admiralty was held by the governor and council under 
the Dutch rule ; and under the English, it was at first held by 
the governor's special commissions until 1678, when authority 
was given to appoint a judge and other ofiicers ; it event- 
ually, however, depended from the lords of the admiralty in 

The constitution of 1777, of New York, provided for a 
court for " the trial of impeachments, and the correction of 
errors," the same being the president of the senate for the 
time being, the senators, chancellor, and judges of the 
supreme court, or a majority of them. This court re- 
mained the same under the constitution of 1821, with 
some change in its composition, and ceased with the adop- 
tion of the constitution of 1846, after nearly seventy years' 

The court of Chancery was recognized by the first con- 
stitution, and a chancellor appointed for it by the governor. 
It was reorganized in 1788, and ceased its existence pur- 
suant to the constitution of 1846, on the first Monday of 
July, 1847. 

The supreme court of judicature was recognized by the 
first constitution, as the tribunal then existed, and was 
reorganized in 1778, the judges being appointed by the 
council of appointment. The court of exchequer was a 
branch of the supreme court, the same as during the colo- 
nial period, and was reorganized in 1786, " for the better 
levying and accounting for fines, forfeitures, issues, and 
amercements, and debts due to the people of the State." 
It was abolished by the general repealing act of December 
10, 1828. Circuit courts were established April 19, 1786, 
to bo held by justices of the supreme court in the respective 
counties. Under the second constitution, the circuit courts 
were held by circuit judges, appointed by the governor, 
there being eight circuits in the State. The constitution 
of 1846 abolished the circuits as then established, and pro- 
vided for the holding the circuit court by the justices of 
the supreme court. 

Courts of oyer and terminer were provided by an act 
passed February 22, 1788, to be held by the justice of the 
supreme court at the same time with the circuit. Two or 
more of the judges and assistant judges of the court of 
common pleas, in the respective counties, were to sit in the 
oyer and terminer with the justice. Under the constitu- 
tion of 1821 the oyer and terminer was held by the circuit 



judge. Any justice of the supreme court could, however, 
hold a circuit or preside at an oyer and terminer. The 
court of admiralty existed but a short time under the State 
government, the court ceasing at the adoption of the Federal 
Constitution in 1789 ; that instrument vesting admiralty 
jurisdiction solely in the federal courts. 

The court of probates vras created in 1778, by the act to 
" organize the government of the State," passed March 16, 
in that year. This act divested the governor of the powers 
he possessed in the colonial period in the prerogative and 
probate courts, and transferred them to the judge of the 
court of probates, except in the appointment of surrogates. 
In 1787 surrogates were empowered to be appointed. The 
judge of the court of probates held his office at New York 
until 1797, when an act was passed, March 10, requiring 
the court to be held in Albany, and the records to be 
removed and kept there. The court had appellate jurisdic- 
tion over the surrogates' courts, and was abolished March 
21, 1823, its jurisdiction transferred to the chancellor, and 
its records deposited in the office of the clerk of the court 
of appeals in Albany. 

Surrogates were appointed under the first constitution for 
an unlimited period by the council of appointment, and an 
appeal lay from their decisions to the judge of the court of 
probates of the State, as before stated. Under the second 
constitution they were appointed by the governor and sen- 
ate for four years, and appeals lay to the chancellor. Un- 
der the constitution of 1846, the office was abolished, except 
in counties having more than 40,000 population, in which 
counties surrogates may be elected, the term being first for 
four years, but by an amendment adopted in 1869, the term 
was extended to six years. Appeals lie to the supreme 
court. In counties of less population than 40,000, the 
county judge performs the duties of surrogate. 

The court of common pleas was continued from the col- 
onial period by the first constitution, and under that instru- 
ment had a large number of judges, as high as twelve being 
on the bench at the same time, in some counties. By an 
act passed March 27, 1818, the office of assistant justice 
was abolished, and the number of judges limited to five, 
including the first judge. The court was continued with- 
out material change, by the second constitution, and expired 
with that instrument in 1 847. 

The constitution of 1846 provided for the following 
courts : A court of impeachments, to take the place of the 
former tribunal of that nature, and composed of the presi- 
dent of the senate, the senators, and judges of the court of 
appeals, or a majority of them. A court of appeals, organ- 
ized at first with eight judges, four chosen by the people for 
eight-year terms, and four selected from the class of justices 
of the supreme court having the shortest time to serve. 
By the article in relation to the judiciary, framed by the 
convention of 1867-68, and adopted by the people Novem- 
ber, 1869, the court of appeals was reorganized. In ac- 
cordance with the provisions of this article, the court is 
now composed of a chief judge and six associate judges, 
" who hold their office for the term of fourteen years, from 
and including the first day of January after their election.'' 
The first election of judges was in the year 1870. This 
court has full power to correct or reverse the decisions of 

the supreme court, five judges constituting a quorum, four 
of whom must concur to pronounce a judgment. In case 
of non-concurrence, two rehearings may be had, and if the 
non-concurrence still obtains, the judgment of the court be- 
low stands affirmed. The clerk of the court is appointed 
by the court, and holds his office during its pleasure. 

The supreme court, as it existed in 1846, was abolished, 
and a new one established, having general jurisdiction in 
law and equity. The State is divided into eight judicial 
districts, in each of which four justices are elected, except 
the first (comprising the city of New York), where there 
are five. The terra of office, as originally established, was 
eight years, but the amended judiciary article provided 
that, on the expiration of the terms of justices then in 
office, their successors shall be elected for fourteen years. 
They are so classified that the term of one justice expires 
every two years. The court possesses the powers and exer- 
cises the jurisdiction of the preceding supreme court, court 
of chancery, and circuit court, consistent with the constitu- 
tion of 1846, and the act concerning the judiciary, of May, 
1847. The legislature abolished, April 27, 1870, the gen- 
eral terms of the court then existing, and divided the State 
into four departments, and provided for general terms to be 
held in each of them. The governor designates a presid- 
ing justice and two associate justices for each department, 
the former holding his office during his official term, and 
the latter for five years, if their terms do not sooner expire. 
Two terms at least, of the circuit court and court of oyer 
and terminer are held annually in each county, and as many 
special terms as the justices in each judicial department may 
deem proper. A convention, composed of the general term 
justices, the chief judges of the superior courts of cities, 
the chief judge of the court of common pleas of New 
York city, and of the city court of Brooklyn, appoint the 
times and places of holding the terms of the supreme and 
circuit courts, and the oyer and terminer, which appoint- 
ment continues for two years. The county clerks and clerks 
of the court of appeals are clerks of the supreme court. 


The constitution of 1846 provided for the election in 
each of the counties of the State, except the city and 
county of New York, of one county judge, who should hold 
the county court, and should have such jurisdiction in cases 
arising in justices' courts and in special cases as the legis- 
lature might provide; but should have no original civil 
jurisdiction, except in such special cases. The legislature, 
in pursuance of these provisions, has given the county 
judge jurisdiction in actions of debt, assumpsit, and cove- 
nant in sums not exceeding $2000 ; in cases of trespass and 
personal injury not to exceed $500 ; and in replevin, $1000. 
The county court has also equity jurisdiction for the fore- 
closure of mortgages, the sale of real estate of infants, 
partition of lands, assignment of dower, satisfaction of 
judgments, whenever $75 is due on an unsatisfied ex- 
ecution, and the care and custody of lunatics and habitual 
drunkards. The new judiciary article (1869) continued this 
jurisdiction, and gave the courts original jurisdiction in all 
cases where the defendants reside in the county, and in which 
the damages claimed shall not exceed $1000. The term of 

















office of the county judge, originally four years, was then 
extended to six years, upon the election of successors to the 
incumbents then in office, the new tenure beginning Jan 
1, 1871. 


Two justices of the peace, to be designated by law, were 
associated with the county judge, by the constitution of 
1846, to hold courts of sessions, with such criminal juris- 
diction as the legislature shall prescribe. 

Special judges are elected in counties, to discharge the 
duties of county judge when required, by provision of the 
legislature on application of the board of supervisors. 


of St. Lawrence County, as will be seen by the act of 
erection of the county, was to be held on the first Tuesday 
in June, 1802. Accordingly, on that day, the same being 
the first day of the montli. Judge Nathan Ford appeared at 
the old barracks in Oswegatohie, with the sheriff and clerk, 
ready for business ; but no associate judges appearing, the 
court was adjourned until five o'clock on Wednesday. 
Pursuant to adjournment the same officials came together 
and adjourned twenty-four hours longer for the same 
reason, and so again on Thursday and on Friday, until ten 
o'clock Saturday morning, when a full bench appeared, as 
follows : Nathan Ford, first judge ; Alexander I. Turner, 
judge; Stillman Foote and John Tibbitts, Jr., assistant 
justices. Mathew Perkins, Esq., was admitted to the prac- 
tice of the law before the court, and the court adjourned to 
the next court in course. Louis Hasbrouck signing the 
record as clerk. 

The second term of the court was held Nov. 9, 1802, 
with the same presence, except Joseph Edsall appeared as 
assistant justice in place of Esquire Foote. The court ad- 
journed till the afternoon, and then until the next morn- 
ing, for want of business, when a judgment was taken by 
confession against one of the members of the court for 
$400 debt and $9.42 costs in favor of Chas. B. & Geo. W. 
Webster. Another cognovit was entered up against Jacob 
Pohlman, at the suit of John B. Finncane, for $281.84 
debt, and $9.54 costs ; and Benjamin Skinner was admitted 
to practice before the court, and then the court adjourned 
till June, 1803. This term was held by Judges Turner 
and Edsall with Justices Tibbitts and Foote. Andrew 
McCoUum and Morris S. Miller were admitted as attorneys 
to practice, and the court adjourned till November, when 
all of the before-named judges and justices were present. 
A jury brought in a verdict for $110.60 debt, and six 
cents cost, in favor of Jonathan Scott against another mem- 
ber of the court; and the clerk was ordered to assess the 
damages in another case against another member of the 
court, which resulted in a judgment of $67.84, and then 
the court, not caring probably to monopolize the docket, 
adjourned till November. 

This term, — November, 1804, — was held in the court- 
house, all of the other terms being held in the old barracks. 
Mr. Perkins entered up judgments at this term amounting 
to $138.98 ; McCollum, the same, to $80.79 ; and there 
was one jury trial. In June, 1805, there were judgments 

amounting to $2507.86, entered by confession and default 

At the November term, 1805, Amos Lane was admitted 
to the bar, having been granted an examination " speciali 
gratia," as the record says. A license was granted John 
Fulton to run a ferry across the St. Lawrence, between his 
house on lot No. 21 in Massena and the house of George 
Barnhart in Canada, and also to run a ferry across Grasse 
river. An insolvent debtor was discharged from the im- 
portunities of his creditors, on his assignment of his prop- 
erty to Thomas J. Davies and Andrew McCollum for the 
benefit of said creditors, under the bankrupt act of 1801. 

At the June term, 1806, the clerk got a little mixed on 
the sheriff's returns of certain papers, expressing it thus, 
"tunc pro nunc" "then for now;" when it probably was 
intended for " now for then." The October term, 1806, 
opened with one senior judge, three judges, three assistant 
justices, and one justice of the peace on the bench, and the 
June term previous had two judges, three associate justices, 
and five justices of the peace present. Mathew Perkins, 
the first attorney, died in 1808. 


The first term of this court was convened June 1, 1802, 
at the old barracks in Oswegatchie, and, like the common 
pleas, adjourned from day to day till Saturday the 5th, 
when Judges Ford and Turner and Assistant Justices 
Foote and Tibbitts, and Thomas J. Davies and John Reed, 
justices of the peace, proceeded to hold the sessions. The 
court was duly opened by proclamation, and the sheriff, 
Elisha Tibbitts, returned his venire with the following 
panel of grand jurors : 

Benj. Stewart, foreman, James Akin, Andrew O'Neil, 
Uri Barber, Reuben Turner, John Delance, Benj. Gallo- 
way, John Sharp, Henry Erwin, Jonathan Tuttle, Robert 
Huggins, Samuel Allen, John Lyttle, Wm. Lyttle, John 
Farewell, Jr., Jacob Redington, John Lyon, Adam Mil- 
yers, George Davis, Joseph Thurber, David Giffin, Benj. 
Wilson, George Morris, Thomas Lee. 

The jury was sworn and charged by the senior judge, 
and withdrew for consultation, and in the afternoon re- 
turned into court and reported no presentments, and the 
court adjourned till November. 

The November sessions were held by the same judges, 
and Alexander Brush was the foreman of the grand jury, 
which found five indictments, — two for grand larceny, and 
three for coining and passing counterfeit money. John 
Erooker, indicted for grand larceny, was convicted on one 
indictment and sentenced to pay a fine of $40 and costs, 
and to stand committed till same was paid, and recognized 
to the next oyer and terminer on the other. The court 
estreated four forfeited recognizances, and recognized two 
witnesses to the next oyer and terminer, and then adjourned 
till the next term. There were no presentments at the 
June term, 1803, and the June sessions, 1805, was held 
by a bench of two judges, three assistant justices, and 
seven justices of the peace. T. Skinner being present as 
district attorney-general, at the June term, 1806, the first 
sentence to state's prison was passed, the same being on 
Elijah Hor, — two years for perjury. 


At the June term, 1809, of the common pleas, the first 
alien was admitted to citizenship in the county courts, the 
same being James Thomson, who was born in Ulster, Ire- 
land, and emigrated to New York in 1801. 


The first record we find of this court is of the June term, 
1810, which began the 29th day of that month, with the 
following presence on the bench : Hon. Ambrose Spencer, 
one of the judges of the supreme court ; Nathan Ford, 
first judge; Russell Attwater, Benj. Raymond, Joseph 
Edsall, and Alexander I. Turner, judges; Daniel W. 
Church and Stillman Foote, assistant justices. 

Wm. Groat and Richard Van Arnam were committed to 
jail on an indictment found by the general sessions, and on 
their trial the former received ten years in the penitentiary, 
and the latter was found " not guilty." Judge Van Ness 
held the June oyer and terminer, 1811, whereat Reuben R. 
Seely, indicted for petit larceny, was sentenced three months 
to the county jail, " to be fed on bread and water, unless 
the sherifi' shall think his health required other food." An 
indictment for rape procured a home for life in the state's 
prison for the miscreant charged with the crime. 

At the July term, 1816, Louis Gerteau was convicted of 
the murder of his wife, and sentenced to be hung on July 
12, just nine days after his sentence. 

The county court was convened for the first time October 
5, 1847, Hon. Edwin Dodge, county judge, presiding, and 
Joseph Barnes, justice of the sessions. Smith Stillwell 
was the foreman of the grand jury. 

THE surrogate's COURT 

was first convened April 27, 1805, by Mathew Perkins, 
surrogate, the following business being done : The last will 
and testament of Ezekiel Colburn was proven by Elisha W. 
Barber and David White, witnesses, and admitted. The 
next court was held August 24, the same year, when the 
will of John Harris was admitted to record. The first 
intestate estate was presented to the court and administra- 
tion granted thereon in 1806, the same being the estate 
of Royal Chapman, of Madrid, Stephen Eldridge being 
appointed administrator. 

Mathew Perkins, the first surrogate, died, and his estate 
was administered upon by his successor, Andrew McCoUom. 

The first letters of guardianship were granted June 21, 
1813, by Gouverneur Ogden, surrogate, Luther Abernethy, 
aged seventeen years, being the infant. The first inventory 
filed in the court was that of the estate of Allen Barber, 
deceased, of Madrid, which was filed November 23, 1806. 
The appraisal footed up $148.29. 

A term of the supreme court was held in Canton, 
Oct. 13, 1847 — Judge David Cady presiding — for equity 

The tribunals which exercise legal jurisdiction over the 
people of St. Lawrence County at the present time, and the 
constitution of the courts, are as follows : 



Morrison R. Waite, Ohio, Chief Justice {4th circuit) 1874 

Nathan Clifford, Maine, Associate Justice (1st circuit) 1858 

ce f2d circuit) 1873 

, 1870 

Ward Hunt, N. Y., Associate Just: 

•Wm. Strong,Penn., " " (3d " ).. 

Joseph P. Bradley, N. J., " " (5th " )., 

Noah H. Swayne, Ohio, " " (6th 

James M. Harlan, Kentuclty, " " (7th 

Samuel F. Miller, Iowa, " " (8th 

Stephen J. Field, Cal., " " (9th 

D. Wesley Middleton, Washington, Clerlt. 

Wm. T. Otto, Indiana, Reporter. 

John G. Nicolay, Illinois, Marshal. 

The court holds one general term annually at Washing- 
ton, D.C., commencing on the second Monday in October. 


for the second circuit (including New York, Vermont, and 
Connecticut) : 

Ward Hunt, Associate Justice Supreme Court. 
Alexander S. Johnson, Circuit Judge. 
William J. Wallace, District Judge. 

Terms in the northern district (which includes St. Law- 
rence County), Albany, second Tuesday in October ; Canan- 
daigua, third Tuesday in June ; also adjourned term, for 
civil business only, at Albany, third Tuesday in January, 
and at Utica, third Tuesday in March. Charles Mason, 
clerk of northern division ; office, Utica. 


for the northern district of New York : 

William J. Wallace, Syracuse, Judge. 
Richard Crowley, Lockport, Attorney. 
Winfleld Robbins, Buffalo, Clerk. 
Isaac F. Quinby, Rochester, Marshal. 

Terms. — Albany, third Tuesday in January ; Utica, third 
Tuesday in March ; Rochester, second Tuesday in May ; 
Buffalo, third Tuesday in August ; Auburn, third Tuesday 
in November. A special term by appointment at Oswego, 
Plattsburgh, or Watertown, and a special session in ad- 
miralty at BuiFalo, on Tuesday of each week. 


Term Expires. 

Sanford E. Church, Chief Judge, Albion Deo. 31, 

William F. Allen, Associate Judge, Oswego 

N. Y. City.. 






Charles A. Rapallo 

Charles Andrews, " '.' 

Charles J. Folger, " " 

Theodore Miller, " " 

Robert Earl, " " 

Edwin 0. Perrin, Clerk, Jamaica. 

F. Stanton Perrin, Deputy Clerk, Albany 

Hiram B. Sickels, Reporter, " 

Amos Dodge, Crier, " 

Andrew J. Chester, Attendant, " 

Jeremiah Cooper, " Lenox. 


for the third department, consisting of the third, fourth, 
and sixth judicial districts. 

William L. Learned, Presiding Justice. 
Augustus Bockes, Associate Justice. 
Douglass Boardman, " " 


and special terms of the supreme court for the fourth judi- 
cial district, comprising the counties of Clinton, Essex, 



Franklin, Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, 
Schenectady, Warren, and Washington. 

Term Expires. 
Charles 0. Tappan, Potsdam, Justice Supreme Court.... Dec. 31, 1891 
Joseph Potter, Whitehall, " " .... " 1885 

Judson S. Landon, Schenectady, Justice Sup. Court " 1887 

Augustus Bookes, Saratoga Springs, " " .... " 1888 

Murray N. Ralph, Canton, Clerk. 

John R. Brinokerhoff, Norfolk, District Attorney. 

Orson 0. Wheeler, Canton, Sheriff. 


Leslie W. Russell, Canton, County Judge, term expires Dec. 31) 
Murray N. Ralph, Canton, Clerk . 
Orson 0. Wheeler, Canton, Sheriff. 


Leslie W. Russell, County Judge. 

Cornelius Carter, Justice Sessions. 

George Backus, Justice Sessions. 

Murray N. Ralph, Canton, Clerk. 

John R. Brinokerhoff, Norfolk, District Attorney. 

Orson 0. Wheeler, Canton, Sheriff. 


Dexter A. Johnson, Gouverneur, Surrogate, term expires Dec. 31, 

Joseph T. Chapin, Ogdensburg, Special Surrogate. 

of the several towns and city of Ogdensburg. 


The board of supervisors, as the fiscal manager of the 
county, has come down from the " good old colony times, 
when we lived under the king," and dates its beginning in 
an act of the colonial assembly of New York, passed in 
April, 1691.* By this act it was provided that the free- 
holders of the colony should elect two assessors and one 

supervisor in their respec- 
tive towns ; the former to 
assess and establish the 
rates on each freeholder 
and inhabitant, and deliver 
the list to the supervisor, 
who took it up to a general 
meeting of the supervisors 
of the county, who ordered 
the same collected by the 
constables or collectors of the several towns. The super- 
visors as a board also elected a county treasurer, who re- 
ceived and disbursed the funds for county charges. This 
act was repealed October 18, 1701, and courts of general 
or special sessions, held by the justices of the peace of the 
county, or any five of them, were created, to make the 
necessary levies of taxes and audit claims, and certify the 
same to two assessors and a collector in each town for col- 
lection pro rata. This court also appointed the county 
treasurer. On June 10, 1703, the supervisors were restored 
again and put in charge of the strong box of the treasury, 
and the courts of sessions relieved of the care of the finan- 

* Bradford's Ed. Coloniul Laws. 

cial interests of the county, and the supervisors required to 
meet as a board at the county town, annually, on the first 
Tuesday in October, and at such other times as they might 
deem proper for the transaction of their business. The 
board received back again, also, the power of appointment 
of county treasurer, who was allowed a sixpence on the 
pound for his fees, the collectors getting ninepence for their 
fees of collection. The system of the supervisors has been 
continued under the several constitutions of the State to 
the present time. 

The records of the board of supervisors of St. Lawrence 
County previous to 1814 were lost in a fire at Ogdensburg 
in the spring of 1839, and consequently no abstract of the 
early business of the board can be obtained. The first 
board is said to have been composed as follows : Nathan 
Ford, of Oswegatchie ; Alexander J. Turner, of Lisbon ; 
Joseph Edsall, of Madrid ; Mathew Perkins, of Massena. 
In 1814 the board was composed of the following super- 
visors : 

Canton, Daniel Walker; De Kalb, Issac Burnham j Gouverneur, 
Richard Townsend;- Hopkinton, Roswell Hopkins; Louisville, Tim- 
othy W. Osborn ; Madrid, Joseph Freeman ; Massena, Willard Seaton ; 
Parishville, Daniel W. Church; Potsdam, Benjamin Raymond; Os- 
wegatcbie^ Louis Hasbrouck; Rossie, Reuben .Streeter; Russell, 
Reuben Ashman ; Stockholm, Nathaniel F. Winslow; Lisbon, Geo. 
C. Conant. 

Roswell Hopkins was unanimously chosen chairman, and 
Geo. C. Conrad clerk, pro tern. . This meeting was the 
annual one, and convened on the first Tuesday in October, 
at the court-house in Oswegatchie. 

On motion of Benjamin Raymond, seconded by a fellow- 
member, it was " Resolved, that the sherifi' be directed to 
cause a brick frame work to be built under the iron stove 
in the court room, and as many brick flues to be built on 
the top thereof as the stove will contain ; also to cause to be 
repaired the damage done the court-house by the enemy. "f 
The board then adjourned until the last Tuesday in the 
month, when they met again and continued business. 

A bounty of ten dollars was laid on wolves' heads, the 
possessors of which were full grown, and five dollars on 
" whelps of sufficient age to see or travel abroad" provided 
always if these same animals were not slaughtered by an 
Indian. Five hundred dollars were appropriated to pay 
the bounties. 

The following town accounts were audited : Canton, 
roads, $250 ; wolf bounties, $40 ; sundries, $100.22; total, 
$390.22. De Kalb, roads, $250 ; schools, $30 ; the poor, 
8150 ; total, $430. Gouverneur, roads, $250 ; sundries, 
$104.46; total, $354.46. Hopkinton, roads, $250 ; schools, 
$24.72 ; the poor, $150 ; wolf bounties, $100 ; sundries, 
$157.13; total, $681.85. Lisbon, schools, $60; sundries, 
$177.98 ; total, $237.98. Louisville, roads, $250 ; schools, 
$16.72 ; sundries, $50.68 ; total, $316.95. Madrid, roads, 
$250 ; schools, $150 ; the poor, $200 ; sundries, $236.81 ; 
total, $836.81. Massena, roads, $250; schools, $66.76; 
sundries, $96.61 ; total, $413.37. Oswegatchie, sundries, 
$62.50; total, $62.50. Parishville, schools, $21.66; sun- 
dries, $142.51 ; total, $164.17. Potsdam, sundries, $90.75 ; 
total, $90.75. Rossie, roads, $250 ; sundries, $153.37 ; 

t The British in 1812-13. 




total, $403.37. Kussell, roads, $250; schools, $40.98; 
the poor, $250; sundries, $56; total, $596.98. Stock- 
holm, roads, $250 ; schools, $31.92; sundries, $51.11 ; total, 

Tbtofe.— Roads, $2500 ; schools, $442.31 ; the poor, $750 ; 
wolf bounties, $140 ; sundries, $1480.13; total, $5312.44. 

The county accounts allowed amounted to $739.40 ; and 
the towns were allowed for money already expended on 
bridges, $693.51. Besides the above-named sums, a general 
appropriation, levied on the county at large for the build- 
ing of bridges, was made to the amount of $1000. A 
committee, consisting of Supervisors Hopkins, Raymond, 
and Hasbrouck, appointed at the January meeting in 1814, 
reported on previous appropriations for bridges, by which 
it appears that one of $1225 was made in 1805. 

The county treasurer reported that he had received from 
the comptroller all arrears due the county on taxes and in- 
terest to June 14, 1814, amounting to $6495.34, which 
amount paid all the indebtedness against the county up to 
the meeting of the board in annual session, and left a bal- 
ance of $3600 in the treasurer's hands. The balances 
reported as due the towns for bridge building was directed 
to be paid to the proper authorities from this balance of 
$3600. The tax-list for the year aggregated $8943.73. 

In 1815 another appropriation for bridges was made of 
$1000, and distributed to the towns where the most im- 
portant structures were needed, — Oswegatchie getting $450, 
De Kalb $200, and Gouverneur $350. 

In 1816 the first equalization of assessment of real 
estate was effected. At the annual meeting a committee, 
consisting of Supervisors Hasbrouck, Winslow, and Ray- 
mond wa-s appointed, and reported that, owing to the im- 
perfectness of the returns from some of the towns, equali- 
zation was impracticable, and recommended all of the 
assessment rolls to be returned to the assessors for re-assess- 
ment of real estate, on the following basis : Tracts of 1000 
acres and upwards, at $1.50 per acre; in parts of the town- 
ship of Hammond, Somerville, and Kilkenny, in the town 
of Rossie, and Crumach and Grange in Massena, from 50 
cents to $1 per acre ; in Russell, Parishville, and Hopkin- 
ton, from 10 cents to $1.50 per acre; other towns, not ex- 
ceeding 75 cents per acre. Small tracts for farms, from 
25 to 50 per cent, more, beside improvements. This report 
was adopted, and the assessment retaken accordingly, and 
returned to an adjourned meeting convened November 16 
following. At this meeting Messrs. Raymond, Hasbrouck, 
and Barber were appointed a committee on equalization, 
and they recommended the following additions and deduc- 
tions to the assessment of real estate, which were made : 

Additions: Potsdam, $7831.57; Parishville, $358.25; 
Lisbon, $5207.33; Massena, $12,082.50 ; Rossie, $3543.06; 
De Kalb, $18,735.91 ; total additions, $47,758.62. 

Deductions :' Hopkinton, $2353.25 ; Madrid, $43,514.12 ; 
Russell, $663.50; Canton, $1227.75; total deductions' 
$47,758.62. ' 

Mr. Hasbrouck was appointed to assist the clerk in the 
equalizing of the assessment and casting the taxes. 

A tax of twenty cents per acre was levied on all lands 
situated within one mile of the roads laid out by the com- 
missioners appointed by the act of April 15, 1810 and 

eight cents per acre on all lands more than one mile, and 
less than two, distant. 

In 1817 the town of Fowler appeared on the board for 
the first time, in the person of its first supervisor, Theodo- 
sius 0. Fowler. The United States authorities valued the 
lands of the county in 1814; and the supervisors deeming 
the valuation put upon it too high, disregarded the instruc- 
tions of the comptroller to assess the same on the basis of 
the said valuation, and petitioned the legislature for relief. 
The report of the county treasurer showed receipts fi'om 
Feb. 1, 1814, to Nov. 5, 1817, amounting to $20,501.92, 
all of which had been properly disbursed, except a balance 
of $111.40. The taxes of Fowler for the first year of its 
sovereignty were, for State and county purposes, $167.66; 
for town purposes, $106.96 ; total, $274.62. 

In 1818, Chester Gurney was clerk pro tern, of the 
board. In after-years Mr. Gurney was a noted lawyer in 
Michigan, and one of the original Liberty men of St. Jo- 
seph county, in that State. 

In 1819 Pierrepont sent its first supervisor to the county 
board, and for the privilege of self-government paid tribute 
as follows : To the State, $58.17 ; to the county, $123.90 ; 
for its own poor, $200 ; for schools, $18.09 ; and for sun- 
dry expenses and appropriations, $125.98; total, $526.14, 
the collector getting in addition $26.30 for his fees. A 
pauper family from Rutland, Jefferson Co., having been 
transported into St. Lawrence County, and thence through 
the same to Malone, by easy stages, whereby St. Lawrence 
had incurred expense, Jefferson county was applied to to 
liquidate the cost of the transit. The first panther bounty 
was paid this year. 

In 1820 the number of taxable inhabitants in the county 
was returned at 2798, the total assessment being $747,704, 
as returned by the assessors, and the supervisors increased it 
to $757,000, and levied a tax of $14,335.56 for all pur- 
poses on it. From Nov. 8, 1817, to Oct. 3, 1820, the 
treasurer received $31,409.29, from which he disbursed 
for roads and bridges $19,913.67, and for wolf bounties 

In 1821 Morristown appeared on the board in the per- 
son of its first supervisor, David Ford, the first assessment 
and taxation being as follows: Taxable inhabitants, 161 ; 
value of personal property, $1816; value of real estate, 
$35,391 ; total valuation, $37,207. Taxes, State, $101.93 ; 
county, $360.78 ; town, $150.96 ; collectors' fees, $32.28; 
total taxes, $665.02. M. B. Hitchcock, county clerk, pre- 
sented a bill ibr $149.99 for ofiice rent, which, after many 
ballotings, was rejected. The first vote to reject had but 
one vote against the proposition, when the motion was re^ 
considered, and a motion to allow $100 had. three support- 
ers, a motion to allow $50 had but two friends, and the 
final rejection was carried nine to five. Mr. Hitchcock 
presented his bill again in 1822, and it met the same fate 
again ; and so to in 1823. In 1822, Samuel Partridge, of 
Potsdam, was appointed sealer of weights and measures, 
and $50 appropriated to buy standards. 

In 1823 Norfolk's first supervisor, Christopher G. Stow, 
appeared on the board. The tax-list of the town made the 
following exhibit: Taxable inhabitants, 108 ; value of real 
estate, $62,770 (no personal property returned) ; State tax, 



$62.77 ; county tax, $89.77 ; town taxes, $248.70 ; total, 
$401.24. Resident wild lands wore assessed at $1.90 per 
acre ; improved lands, $4.75 ; non-resident lands, wild, 
from .50 and .75 to $1.00 per acre ; barns, $75. 

In 1825 De Peyster and Brasher appeared before the 
board, the former by Smith Stillwell, supervisor, and the 
latter by Benjamin Nevin, but Mr. Nevin, being an alien, 
could not take his seat. 

The tax-lists of the new towns were as follows : I)e Pey- 
ster — taxable inhabitants, 130 ; personal property, $2415 ; 
real estate, $71,227 ; total assessment, $73,642 ; taxes. 
State and county, $210.66 ; town, $273 ; total, $483.66. 
Brasher — taxable inhabitants, 87 ; real estate assessment, 
$60,342; taxes. State and county, $175; town, $222; 
total, $397. 

Martin Brombling killed a panther and brought the cor- 
pus entire before the board and received his bounty, and 
kept the skin of the animal unmutilated. The board voted 
that a bank was necessary in Ogdensburg, in order to place 
the inhabitants of St. Lawrence County on an equality with 
other citizens of the State in relation to good money. The 
board adopted a seal, a representation of which is appended 
to this history of the board. 

In 1826 two claimants appeared before the board for the 
seat of Brasher, — Jehiel Stevens and David McMurphy. 
McMurphy, as town clerk, declared himself elected, while 
Stevens, as justice of the peace, presiding at the election, 
received the largest number of votes, and was seated. 

In 1827 the towns of Hammond and Edwards were first 
represented on the board by Sylvester Buttrick and Orra 
Shed, respectively. The tax-lists of the new towns made 
the following exhibit : Hammond — taxable inhabitants, 
137; personal property, $2066 ; real estate, $60,417 ; total 
assessment, $62,483. Taxes, county, $191.38 ; town, 
$213.25 ; total, $430.85. Edwards — taxable inhabitants, 
129; personal property, $1845; real estate, $51,114; 
total assessment, $52,959. County tax, $161.91 ; town, 
$402.89; total taxes, $604.21. 

In 1829 Lawrence was first represented on the board by 
Carlton McEwen, supervisor. The town had 216 taxable 
inhabitants listed, the valuation of property being, for per- 
sonal, $235 ; real estate, $43,198 ; total, $43,433. County 
tax, $158.36; town tax, $417.69; total taxes, $714.34. 

The annual meeting of 1830 was the first one held in 
Canton, and at this meeting Hermon (under the name of 
De Peau) first came to the board in the person of William 
Teal, supervisor. The valuation and taxes of Hermon were 
as follows : taxable inhabitants, 134 ; personal property, 
$550 ; real estate, $34,641 ; total valuation, $35,191. 
County tax, $134.26 ; town, $349.81 ; total taxes, $538.54. 
The appropriations for the year amounted to $10,524.22, 
divided as follows: Jurors, two years, $1600; constables 
and justices, two years, $1326 ; superintendents of the poor, 
$3000 ; supervisors, $870 ; court-house, $600 ; wolf boun- 
ties, $470 ; miscellaneous accounts, $1242.84. 

In 1832 the expenses of the town boards of health, ren- 
dered necessary by the prevalence of the cholera, amounted 
to $1351.45. Hon. Preston King was chairman of the 
committee on the audit of the same, and also of the com- 
mittee on the superintendents of the poor and their doings. 

In 1836 the first assessment of incorporated companies 
was specifically returned, and contained two companies only : 
Ogdensburg bank, real estate, $4200 ; taxable stock, $93,691 ; 
total, $97,891. Tax, $675.02. Ontario and St. Lawrence 
steamboat company, taxable stock, $36,000 ; tax, $248.24. 
In 1837 the companies had increased so that the assess- 
ment amounted to $191,191, and the taxes to $1807.21. 
This year, too, Pitcairn was first represented on the board 
by John Sloper. The tax list contained the names of 
44 taxable inhabitants ; its valuation for assessment was 
$13,137 ; county taxes, $56.72 ; town taxes, $73.96 ; total, 

In 1838 the supervisor from Morristown offered a reso- 
lution prefaced by a preamble of many " whereases," which 
set forth that information, believed to be reliable and 
authentic, having been received that the Patriots had made 
" a noble stand" at Windmill Point, in Canada, and had had 
a severe engagement with the " advocates and minions of 
British tyranny and oppression," and that the Patriots 
needed reinforcements to prevent being captured by the 
aforesaid " minions," and " so meet with defeat, and sacri- 
fice their lives in contending against the aforesaid cruel and 
merciless foe ;" and that as the board of supervisors of St. 
Lawrence " felt a deep interest and intense anxiety in the 
success of the patriotic struggle, which would spread the 
light of liberty abroad throughout the land," therefore, for 
the preservation of the lives of those patriots " who are 
contending for the rights of men born free, and for the 
republican principles for which our venerated forefathers 
shed their blood, 

" Jlesolocd, That the board adjourn to meet again on the last Mon- 
day of November instant, in order to enable the members thereof to 
return to their respective homos to devise ways and means to rescue 
that Spartan band of patriotic friends, and preserve their lives from 
the hands of their enemies, the tyrants and advocates of the British 

The board, however, having a wholesome regard for the 
proclamation of neutrality issued by the Federal govern- 
ment, extinguished the resolution by laying the same on the 
table indefinitely, by yeas and nays, the record of which 
vote does not appear spread upon the proceedings of the 

In 1841, Macomb entered the list of representative 
towns, and sent David Day (2d) up to the county board as 
supervisor. Its value and taxes were as follows : Taxable in- 
habitants, 144 ; personal property, $450 ; real estate, 
$43,438; total, $43,888. County tax, $223.75; town, 
$361.81; total, $670.04. 

In 1844 the town of Fine sent its first supervisor to the 
board, Amos J. Brown being the man, who was accom- 
panied by Payne Converse, the first supervisor from Colton. 
The valuations and taxes of the new towns were as follows : 
Colton— total valuation, $27,121 ; State tax, $29.86 ; county 
tax, $120.73 ; town, $129.47 ; total, $429.92. Fine— total 
valuation, $49,157 ; State tax, $54.07 ; county tax, $218.58 ; 
town, $358.54 ; non-resident road tax, $456.72 ; total, 

In 1849 the first laws were enacted under the increased 
powers granted the board in 1847 by the legislature, the 
same being a law for wolf bounties, ^nd auother for the 



preservation of deer. A part of the town of Hermon, the 
south end of E. i of township No. 4 of great tract 3, of 
Macomh's purchase, being sub-division lots 32 to 37 inclu- 
sive, was annexed to Edwards. 

In 1851 the board recommended the formation of a county 
agricultural society by the farmers of St. Lawrence County. 

In 1852, at the annual meeting, the resignation of Bishop 
Perkins, clerk of the board from 1819 continuously to that 
date, thirty-two years, was received, Mr. Perkins having 
been elected to congress. The board passed some very 
complimentary resolutions on the matter, and elected Mar- 
tin Thatcher to the vacancy. 

The board offered twenty dollars for a bounty on wolf 
scalps, and telegraphed the offer to the Franklin board, and 
asked them to do likewise. 

In 1855 there were 4776 persons returned liable to mil- 
itary tax in the county, and the levy on them amounted to 
$2493. The legislature was invoked by the board to ap- 
propriate $10,000 for the improvement of the east branch 
of the St. Eegis river. 

In 1859, at the annual meeting, the town of Madrid was 
divided on the five-mile line, and the northern half created 
the new town of Waddington, and in 1860 the new town 
sent its first supervisor to the board, the same being Walter 
Wilson. The State equalization of property in the year 
1860 fixed St. Lawrence valuation at $15,633,359, the 
State tax being $59,928. William Eomaine, supervisor from 
Lawrence, died while the board was in session, eight days 
after he first took his seat at the annual meeting, and the 
resolutions spread upon the records relating to his decease 
were touching, tender, and modest. The assessment and 
taxes of Waddington for 1860 were as follows : Acres, 
32,713 ; value of real estate, $560,605 ; personal property, 
$44,805 ; total, $605,455 ; State tax, $320,895 ; county 
tax, $1800.74; town tax, $996.24; military tax, $77; 
total tax, $5082.93. 

In 1861, at the annual meeting, resolutions of support 
of the war measures of the government were passed, and a 
law enacted prohibiting the hounding of deer in the county. 

In 1862, resolutions of support to volunteers then in the 
field, were passed. 

In 1864, there were several special meetings held, to 
devise ways and means for paying volunteer bounties to 
encourage enlistments in the Union armies for the sup- 
pression of the southern Eebellion. The first one, in July, 
passed resolutions appropriating $500,000 for the purpose. 
Another meeting, held Aug. 23, reconsidered the former 
action, and offered bounties of $700, $800, and $900, to 
one, two, and three years' men respectively, in addition to 
State and national bounties, and appropriated $1,200,000 
for the payment of the same. In September the quota of 
the county was full, under the call of July 18, for 500,000 

At the annual meeting of 1865, the death of Hon. 
Preston King was announced, and the board passed appro- 
priate resolutions and adjourned for the day. 

In 1868, Clifton appeared in the person of her first su- 
pervisor, Charles C. Snell, and the city of Ogdensburg sent 
three supervisors, as follows : 1st Ward, Calvin W. Gibbs • 
2d Ward, Wm. C. Alden ; 3d Ward, Zina B. Bridges! 

The assessment and tax-list of Clifton for the year 1868 
was as follows : acres, 62,425 ; valuation, $60,783 ; State 
tax, $372.27 ; county tax, $892.01 ; town tax, $28.50 ; 
non-resident road tax, $151.90 ; total tax, $1480.75. The 
tax-roll of Ogdensburg was included in that of the town of 

In 1873, the 4th ward of the city of Ogdensburg was 
erected, and Thomas Callahan elected supervisor ; but he 
did not attend the board, and in 1874 Wm. D. Britton 
appeared as the supervisor of the ward. 

The present board of supervisors (1877) is constituted as 
follows : 

Brasher, George Kingston. 
Canton, Leslie W. Russell. 
Clifton, James Sheridan. 
Cotton, Charles B. Fisher. 
De Kalb, Thomas M. Wells. 
De Peyster, William Newcomb. 
Edwards, Cornelius Carter. 
Fine, Alexander Muir. 
Fowler, A. H. Johnson. 
Gouverneur, Newton Aldrich. 
Hammond, James S. More. 
Hermon, A. A. Matteson. 
Hopkinton, Jonah Sanford. 
Lawrence, Sumner Sweet. 
Lisbon, Samuel Wells. 
Louisville, William Bradford. 
Macomb, Warren Hastings. 
Madrid, John H. Robinson. 
Massena, H. B. AVhite. 

Morristown, Charles Richardson. 

Norfolk, E. A. Atwater. 

Oswegatchie, Harvey L. Jones. 

Ogdensburg, 1st Ward, J. Y. 
" 2d Ward, C. Mar- 

3d Ward, S. F. Pal- 
" -Ith Ward, H. S. 


Parishville, Edward H. Abrom. 

Pierrepont, Lorenzo Northrup. 

Pitcairn, Lorenzo D. Geer. 

Potsdam, Erastus D. Brooks. 

Rossie, A. E. Helmer. 

Russell, Wm. H. Lewis. 

Stockholm, Ebenezer S. Crapser. 

Waddington, Jno. T. Rutherford. 

The board met on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in annual session, 
and organized for business by re-electing Newton Aldrich, 
of Gouverneur, chairman. The session was an interesting 
one, lasting through sixteen days, with several night ses- 
sions. A considerable portion of the time was spent in a 
vigorous discussion of the ever troublesome question of the 
equalization of assessment of real estate, arising from con- 
flicting interests ; but on the tenth day, the report of the 
committee on that matter, after a recommittal, was finally 
adopted, and was as will be seen in the next chapter (VI.), 
by a reference to the tabular statement of supervisors' esti- 
mates for 1877-78. 

The present board of supervisors compares, favorably with 
its predecessors in point of ability and watchfulness, and 
the interests of the county at large, as well as the constitu- 
ent towns, seem to be as jealously guarded as in any year 
of the history of the board, its labors being materially aided 
by the efiiciency of its clerk, Stillman Foote, Esq., now in. 
his seventeenth year of service as such. 

Liberal use has been made of the legislative powers 
granted boards of supervisors by the legislature, by the St. 
Lawrence County Board since 1847, and its increased pow- 
ers given in 1875, and its enactments are passed with the 
formality of the State legislature, and are engrossed and 
published. The laws passed by the board have, thus far, 
been confined to the destruction of noxious animals, preser- 
vation of wild game, enabling acts for the raising, by town 
levies, moneys for town purposes, the erection of new 
towns, etc. 

The chairmen of the board of supervisors have been as 
follows, since 1814 : 



1814-18— Eoswell Hopkins. 
1819 — Louis Hiisbrouck. 
1820 — Benjamin Raymond. 
1821 — Louis Hasbrouck. 
1822 — Jason Fenton. 
1823 — Louis Hasbrouck. 
1824— William Allen. 
1825 — Phineas Attwater. 
1826-28— Smith Stillwell. 
1829— Phineas Attwater. 
1830— William Allen. 
1831— Baron S. Doty. 
1832— Geo. C. Conant. 
1833-34— Zenas Clark. 
1836-37- Wm. Allen. 
1838 — Almon Z. Madison. 
1839— Ansel Bailey. 
1840— Geo. Redington. 
1841— Jehiel Stevens. 
1842— N. Sackrider. 
1843-45— Asa Sprague. 
1846 — Solomon Pratt. 

1847— Silas Williams. 
1848— Geo. F. Winslow. 
1849-50— Orrin M. Fisk. 
1851 — Charles Anthony. 
1852-53— Asaph Green. 
1854— RoUin C. Jackson. 
1855 — Erasmus D. Brooks. 
1856— Aaron T. Hopkins. 
1857— P. W. Rose. 
1858— C. C. Montgomery. 
1859— Wm. P. Smith. 
I860— C. T. Hulburd. 
1861- Ela A. Merriam. 
1862— Edward W. Foster. 
1853— Emory W. Abbott. 
1864-65— Edward W. Foster. 
1866-67— C. C. Montgomery. 
1868-69— Tiras H. Ferris. 
1870-71— C. C. Montgomery. 
1872-74— S. H. Palmer. 
1875— E. W. Foster. 
1876-77— Newton Aldrich. 

The clerks of the board have been, from its first organi- 
zation, in 1802, to the present time, as follows: 

1802-10- Louis Hasbrouck. 
1810-19— William W. Bowen. 
1819 — Chester G\irBey,pro tern. 
1819-52— Bishop Perkins. 

1852-57— Martin Thatcher. 
1857-61— Edward A. Merritt. 
1861 to the present time, Still- 
man Foote. 


In accordance with the law erecting the county, one of 
the stone buildings west of the Oswegatchie was fitted up 
as a court-house, and a bomb-proof magazine on the jpre- 
mises as a jail, in 1802. Here the first courts were held 
and first delinquents confined until the completion of the 
court-house, in 1803, under the provisions of a clause in an 
act passed April 2, 1803, which provided as follows : 

"And be it further enacted^ That it shall be lawful for the super- 
visors of the county of St. Lawrence, and they are hereby authorized, 
to receive the moneys subscribed by the inhabitants of the said county, 
for building a court-house and gaol, on the east side of the mouth of 
the Oswegatchie river, opposite to the old barracks, and to apply such 
moneys for building the said court-house and gaol, in such manner 
as they or the majority of them shall judge most for the interest of 
the said county; and shall account for the expenditures of the said 
money with the judges of the court of common pleas for the said 

" And he it further enacted^ That as soon as the said supervisor;;, or 
a majority of them, shall, by writing under their hands, certify to the 
sheriff of the said county, that the gaol hereby authorized to be built 
is fit for the reception of prisoners, it shall and may be lawful for the 
said sherifT, after filing the said certificate in the office of the clerk of 
the said county, to remove the prisoners into the said gaol, which 
gaol thereafter shall be the gaol of the said county j and that as soon 
as the said court-house is finished sufficiently, so as to be comfortable 
for holding court, and a certificate thereof by the said supervisors, or 
a majority of them, delivered to the judges of the said court, and 
filed in the clerk's office, shall thereafter be the court-house for the 
said county, to all intents and purposes. 

"And te it further enacted, That until further order of the legisla- 
ture, it shall not be necessary for the sheriff of the said county to 
give bonds to the people of this State, for a larger sum than four 
thousand dollars, and six sureties of five hundred dollars each." 

An act of Feb. 12, 1813, required the board of super- 
visors to raise a tax of $900, for the purpose of erecting a 
fire- proof clerk's ofiice. Previous to the completion of this, 
the records were kept in the office of Louis Hasbrouck, the 

clerk. The date of the first record in the office is May 29, 

The house in which the clerk's office was kept for several 
of the first years is represented in the accompanying en- 
graving, which possesses an additional interest, from its 
having been one of the first dwellings erected in Ogdens- 
burg. It was completed in 1804. The lot on which it 
stood was sold to Mr. Hasbrouck for a guinea. Its central 
location has rendered it worth several thousand dollars. 

This venerable dwelling was unfortunately consumed in 
a destructive fire that occurred in the autumn of 1852, 
together with a modern block of stores represented in the 
cut, and much valuable property on the opposite side of the 

The following resolutions in relation to the act author- 
izing the erection of a new clerk's office, were passed by the 
board of supervisors in October, 1821 : 

" Moved that the sum of $600 be raised and levied for the purpose 
of building a fire-proof clerk's office. 

"Action postponed for the present. 

" It was proposed to amend this by inserting $500, and this amend- 
ment was passed. 

" Voted that the building should be erected in the village of Ogdens- 
burg. Louis Hasbrouck, David C. Judson, and Bishop Perkins were 
appointed a committee to determine the size and plan, and to super- 
intend its erection and finishing. It was further resolved, that, 

"* Whereas, by an act of the legislature, passed Feb. 12, 1813, 
authorizing the board of supervisors of the county of St. Lawrence 
to raise money to build a fire-proof clerk's office in said county ; and 
whereas, it is considered probable that a division of the county may 
take place, and in such case a location at Ogdensburg would not bene- 
fit such new county, — it was therefore resolved that, in case of such a 
division, such sum as may be assessed on the territory so set off into 
a new county should be refunded to such new county.' " 

In pursuance of the foregoing resolution, a stone build- 
ing was erected on the corner of Ford and Green streets, 
in the village of Ogdensburg. It was for several years the 
land office of the Hon. Henry Van Rensselaer. 

The proprietors and settlers of the central and southern 
sections of the county were never entirely satisfied with the 
location of the public buildings at Ogdensburg, and, by re- 
ferring to the letter of Judge Ford to S. Ogden, dated 
Jan. 11, 1805, it will be seen that secret jealousies were 
entertained on this subject. In 1818 the first direct effort 
was made to effect a removal, which was defeated through 
the efforts of persons residing in Ogdensburg. 

Among the arguments then adduced in favor of the 



measure were the exposed situation of the frontier and 
liability to hostile incursions in case of war, the incon- 
venience of the public buildings and insecurity of the 
jail, and especially the distance from the centre of the 
county and the southern settlements. 

The petition for the appointment of commissioners to 
select a new site for public buildings had 700 signatures, 
and the remonstrance 762. The inhabitants of Potsdam 
also petitioned for the removal of the public buildings to 
their village. 

Against the removal of the county-seat it was urged that 
the condition of the buildings at Ogdensburg did not call 
for a change ; that a large amount of money was about to 
be expended upon roads, which would make that place 
easily accessible ; that the county buildings, worth $2000, 
would become forfeited by reversion to the proprietor ; that 
the taxable inhabitants, then numbering 2000, were then 
thinly scattered, and an uncertainty still existed where the 
weight of population would ultimately preponderate. 

A plan was at this time proposed for dividing the county 
by a line running between Lisbon and Canton on the west, 
and Madrid and Potsdam on the east, to extend in a direct 
line to the southern bounds of the county. The new 
county was to have been named Fayette. 

An estimate made at the time is interesting, denoting 
the number of taxpayers in the several towns, and is as 
follows : 

Westei-n Division. — Oswegatchie, 193; Gouverneur, 89; 
De Kalb, 126; Russell, 119; Fowler, 28; Rossie, 62; 
Lisbon, 115 ; Canton, 202. Total, 934. 

Eastern Division. — Madrid, 260 ; Potsdam, 302 ; Parish- 
ville, 133 ; Stockholm, 99 ; Hopkinton, 81 ; Louisville, 106 ; 
Massena, 85. Total, 1066. 

The subject of removal to a central location again came 
up for legislative action in the session of 1827, but was 
permitted to lie over till the next session, for the purpose 
of obtaining a more distinct expression of the popular wish 
on the measure ; and under these circumstances it became a 
test question in the election of members of assembly in that 
year. Party considerations wore dropped for the time, and 
it was expected that the canvass would decide the prefer- 
ences of tlie electors of the county upon the subject of 
removal. It resulted as follows : 


Moses Rowley 2364. 

Jabez Willes 2178. 


Jason Fenton 2069 

Phineas Attwater 1688 

The members elected were nominated by a convention 
representing the portion desirous of a change of site, and 
with a distinct understanding that they would labor to 
effect that object. 

The records of many of the towns show that an expres- 
sion of opinion was taken on this subject at their town 
meetings in 1828. 

The petition upon which the law, authorizing a chano'e 
and appointing disinterested commissioners to designate a 
new site, was not numerously signed, but embraced the 
names of those who possessed much weight and influence 
in the county. It was dated December, 1827, and received 
in the senate Jan. 18, 1828. 

This led, after the most active opposition from many of 
those interested in Ogdensburg, to the passage of the fol- 
lowing law : 

" All Act establishing .the location of Gourt-Houae and other Public 
Buildings iu St, Lawrence County. 

" Passed Jan. 28, 1828. 

" I. Joseph Grant, George Brayton, and John B. Hinman, of the 
county of Oneida, be, and they are, hereby appointed commissioners 
to examine, determine, and fix upon the proper site for the erection 
of a new court-house, gaol, and cleric's office, in and for the county 
of St. Lawrence, whose duty it shall be to go into the said county to 
examine the situation of the same, with respect to its population, its 
territory, its roads, and the means of communication between the 
several towns and settlements in the said county, together with the 
immediate prospect of settlements, and all other things which they 
shall think it necessary to examine and inquire into, the better to 
enable them to form a correct determination as to the site of a court- 
house, gaol, and cleric's office for the said county, which shall best 
accommodate the population of the. said county in reference to its 
present territory. 

" II. The said commissioners, after having made such inquiries and 
examinations as aforesaid, and as to them shall be satisfactory, shall, 
on or after the fifteenth day of August next, fix upon and establish 
the site for the buildings aforesaid, and shall put their determination 
in writing, under theif hands and seals, or the hands and seals of 
any two of them, and shall iile the same in the office of the clerk of 
the said county, whose duty it shall be to receive and file the said 
paper without any compensation for so doing ; and the determination 
of the said commissioners, or any two of them, being so made and 
filed as aforesaid, shall be final and conclusive in the premises." 

Section III. provides for the compensation of the commissioners, 
— three dollars per day, and fifteen cents per mile traveling fees. 

"IV. That Ansel Bailey, David C. Judson, and Asa Sprague, Jr., 
be, and they are, hereby appointed commissioners to superintend the 
building of a court-house, gaol, and clerk's office, in and for the said 
county of St. Lawrence, upon the site to be fixed upon and established 
by the commissioners appointed in and by the first section of this act. 

'•■ V. The commissioners appointed in and by the last preceding 
section of this act, or a majority of them, are hereby authorized and 
empowered to purchase materials, contract with workmen, and do all 
other things necessary to the building of the said court-house, gaol, 
and clerk's office j to direct the size, shape, and arrangement of the 
said buildings, and the materials of which the same shall be con- 
structed, and that the said clerk's office shall be built of such mate- 
rials and be so constructed as to be fire-proof. 

"VI. The commissioners last mentioned shall be, and they arc, 
hereby authorized to draw upon the treasurer of the said county of 
St. Lawrence, from time to time, for such sum or sums of money as 
shall come into the treasury of the said county, to be appropriated 
for the erection of the said buildings ; and it shall be the duty of the 
said treasurer to pay on the order of the said commissioners, or a 
majority of them, any sums of money in his hands appropriated to 
the erection of the said buildings. 

" VII. The said commissioners appointed to superintend the erec- 
tion of the said buildings shall, before they enter upon the duties of 
their office, give bonds in the penal sum of $5000, with approved 
sureties, to the supervisors of the said county, conditioned that they 
will faithfully discharge the duties of the said commission, and the 
moneys which shall come into their hands as such commissioners, 
and that they will punctually and honestly account to the said super- 
visors for all such moneys; and the said commissioners shall be enti- 
tled to receive each the Sum of two dollars per day for each day they 
be necessarily employed in the discharge of their duties under this 
act, to be audited, levied, and collected as the other contingent 
charges of the said county are audited, levied, and collected." 

VIII. A tax of $2500 to be levied on the county for the building. 

IX. The board of supervisors to sell the old court-house, gaol, and 
clerk's office, and apply the proceeds towards the new building, etc. 

X. Supervisors to procure a deed in fee simple of the new site. 

XI. The site to be paid for out of the proceeds of the old buildings. 

XII. The supervisors to levy a sum in 1829, not to exceed $2500, 
to finish the new buildings. 

XIII. Commissioners to give notice to the judges of the county 
court of the completion of the buildino-s. 

XIV. The judges to meet and fix upon the gaol liberties. 

XV. The sherifi'to remove prisoners to the new gaol when directed 
by the judges of the courts. 

XVI. The sheriff alone liable for escape of prisoners on removal. 

XVII. The clerk to remove records when directed by judges. 

XVIII. After the above, the new buildings shall be deemed the 
county court-house, gaol, and clerk's office to all legal intents. 

XIX. Vacancies among first commissioners to be filled by governor. 

XX. Vacancies in building commissioners to be filled by county 



The sum designated by the foregoing act being found in- 
adequate to complete the buildings, an act was passed April 
16, 1830, authorizing the supervisors to raise $600 more 
for that purpose. 

The first record made at the clerk's office after its removal 
was on the 8th of Jan., 1830, on which day it was opened. 

The old court-house lot at Ogdensburg was sold to Bishop 
Perkins for $1000, and the clerk's office for $600 to Gov- 
ernor Ogden. 

The following extract from the report to the supervisors 
of the commissioners appointed to erect the cgunty build- 
ings at Canton, describes their original construction : 

" Each building is of stone. The court-house is two stories in 
height, 44 feet by 40. The lower story is divided into four rooms, 
besides passages and stairways, 4'iz., u. grand-jury room, a room for 
constables and witnesses attending the grand-jury, and two rooms for 
petit jurors. The upper story is devoted entirely to a court-room, 41 
feet in length by 37 in breadth. 

** The clerk's oflBce is of the same height and size of the private 
clerk's office, and differing in its construction only in making the 
front room smaller and the rear one larger. . . . 

** The gaol is 36 by 40, with the basement story rising about five 
feet out of the ground, and a story and a half above. About 12 feet 
of the easterly end of all the stories is appropriated to prison rooms, 
except a small room in the lower story for a sheriff's office, where the 
stove is placed, intended to give warmth to all the criminal rooms in 
the upper story, as well as the debtor's room immediately back on the 
same story. 

" The plan of the criminal rooms has been entirely changed since 
the report made at the last meeting of the board. 

" It was then contemplated to take the Jefferson county gaol as a 
model in the construction of ours, the strength of which consisted in 
the size and even surface of the stone of which the walls are con- 
structed. The difiioulty of obtaining stone of sufficient size and 
evenness of surface to admit of dowaling induced them to abandon 
that plan. 

" The criminals' rooms are a block of cells five in number, con- 
structed of wood and iron, placed in the second story, within and 
three feet distant from the outside walls. 

" The light is admitted into the cells through gratings in the upper 
part of the doors (which are to be wholly of iron), opening into the hall 
in the easterly end of the building, into which the light is admitted 
through four strong grated windows. 

" The cells are, with the exception of one, intended for the ac- 
commodation of single prisoners only. 

" The plan, though novel as applied to county gaols, was suggested 
to the consideration of the committee by an examination of the con- 
struction of the State prison recently erected; and it appears to 
them to possess the same advantages for a county prison, which has 
given to those establishments a character for usefulness in the pre- 
vention of crime, by the reformation of the criminal, in the measure 
of punishment that has revived the hope of the philanthropist in the 
success of the penitentiary system, that from the world and from the 
contaminating influence of the society of his fellow-prisoners, who 
may he more hardened in vice, and left to his own solitary reflections, 
if there is any chance for reformation by punishment it is under such 
circumstances. The safety of the arrangement strongly recommended 
itself to the consideration of the committee. 

" Confined singly, there can be no joint efforts. 

" Communication from the outside, except as to one cell, is believed 
to be impracticable, and difficult as to that;/and should an escape 
from a cell be effected, the outside wall or grating would still remain 
to be forced." 

The cost of the new court-house, jail, and clerk's office 
was about $6800. The jail was enlarged in 1836. 

The accommodation of the court-house being deemed in- 
sufficient for the wants of the county, the subject of repair- 
ing and enlarging the building was brought before the 
board of supervisors, at their session in 1850, and it was 

"That a committee of five persons be appointed by the board, 
whose duty it shall be to examine the present building, and the cost 
and expense of an addition of twenty-four feet, of the same materials 
as the present building, and of the same height, including the ex- 
pense of remodeling the inside in a convenient and suitable manner, 
and to receive proposals for the erection and completion of said ad- 

This committee was authorized to contract for the erec- 
tion of said addition to the court-house, provided such ad- 
dition shall be found practicable, for the sum of sixteen 
hundred dollars. 

Two days afterwards this vote was reconsidered, on a 
vote of eleven to ten, and three members of the board 
were appointed a committee to examine and determine 
what repairs and alterations in the court-house were neces- 
sary. If, in the judgment of the committee, repairs and 
alterations should be made, and they might contract for the 
same, for a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, the 
committee were to file a certificate to this effect with the 
clerk of the board, and they then might borrow on the 
credit of the county, at par, such sums for seven per cent, 
annual interest, which they were authorized to expend in 
repairs and alterations of the court-house. 

The committee were to give their official bond for money 
so borrowed, not exceeding two thousand dollars in the ag- 
gregate, which was to be entered by the clerk of the board 
in his minutes, and certified by him, bearing seven per 
cent, interest, payable annually. In case the committee 
should determine to make such repairs and alterations, they 
were to cause such alterations and repairs to be contracted 
for and made under their inspection and direction. 

A further amendment, which required that the commit- 
tee in no case should have authority to contract for the 
completion of the addition of twenty-four feet on the east 
end of the court-house, unless the same could be done for 
two thousand dollars, was adopted. 

Messrs. Picket, Anthony, Cogswell, Foster, and Hazelton 
were appointed to select a committee to carry the foregoing 
resolutions into effect, and they reported the names of 
Messrs. Pisk, Thatcher, and Cogswell, who were duly ap- 

The additions contemplated were effected during the 
year 1851. 

Thus far in the history of the public buildings the com- 
piler has quoted from Dr. Hough's " History of St. Law- 
rence County." 

In 1858 a bill was passed providing for the building of 
a new jail, not to exceed the cost of twelve thousand dol- 
lars. Parker W. Rose, Benjamin Squires, and George 
Robinson were appointed commissioners in charge of the 
work, and to dispose of the old jail and fixtures. The 
building was completed in 1860, and cost, including site, 
fixtures, furniture, and interest, thirteen thousand six hun- 
dred and thirty-seven dollars and thirty-one cents. It was 
built of Potsdam sandstone, from the Cox's mills quarries, 
of a dark-red, color, and has two stories and an attic, forty- 
four by seventy-two feet on the ground. It contains 
twenty-four cells, four debtors' rooms, and one parlor, 
chamber, and two sleeping rooms for the sheriff's family. 
In 1877 an addition of wood was erected on the north side 
of the jail, inclosing the prison court, and fronting west 



forty-seven feet, and running to the east sixty-seven feet, 
including the wood house. This addition is two stories, and 
furnishes four good rooms for the sheriff and his family. 
Mr. Wheeler, the present very efficient officer, superintended 
the building of the new addition, and also extensive repairs 
on the jail proper, and renovated the court-room, putting 
in ventilating flues, and painting and papering the same, 
wainscoting the halls and offices, during the summer of 
1877. The court-room at the present writing presents a 
clean and tasty appearance, and is convenient and comfort- 
able. The cost of the new building and the repairs on the 
jail and court-room amounted to six thousand two hundred 

The county clerk's office becoming too contracted for the 
accommodation of the rapidly increasing business of the 
county, in 1870 a committee recommended the erection of 
a new and more extensive one, and reported that no repairs 
could be made to advantage on the old one. No further 
action was taken in the matter until the annual meeting of 
the board of supervisors in 1876, when resolutions offered 
by supervisor Leslie W. Russell, of Canton, declaring the 
time had come when new and better accommodations for 
the preservation of the public records were imperatively re- 
quired, were adopted, and a committee, consisting of super- 
visors Russell, Hermann, Foster, Wells, and Crapser, was 
appointed to report plans for a building and estimates of the 
cost thereof. This committee reported at a special meeting 
in January, 1877, plans and specifications of a building, 
which were adopted by the board. A building committee, 
consisting of Mr. Russell, Robert Dalzell, and E. S. Crapser, 
was appointed, and authorized to contract for the erection 
of the building in accordance with the plans, at a cost not 
exceeding fifteen thousand dollars. A contract was made 
with Messrs. Moore & Fields, of Canton, for fourteen thou- 
sand five hundred dollars, and some changes made in the 
plan as the work has proceeded will bring the cost up to 
about fifteen thousand five hundred dollars, exclusive of fix- 
tures and furniture. Work was commenced on the foun- 
dation. May 17, 1877, and the building at the present 
writing (December, 1877) is rapidly approaching comple- 
tion. The whole structure is most thoroughly and solidly 
built. The foundation or trench walls are laid with granite 
five feet in thickness, of large blocks, and the wall above 
that to the surface of the ground, ten feet, is of the same 
material. From the surface of the ground the wall, inclu- 
ding the water table, is of the black limestone of the Nor- 
wood quarries, as are also the corners, window trimmino's 
cornice, and coping. The body of the building is of the 
light grayish granite of Gouverneur, and the two colors 
present a unique and beautiful appearance. The main 
building is thirty by forty-eight feet on the ground, wkh a 
projection of five feet constituting the entrance, and two 
stories in height, the lower one twelve and the upper one 
eleven feet in the clear. A hall ten feet wide passes 
through the centre, on either side of which ai;e four rooms 
above and below, seventeen by twenty feet. An annex 
thirty-six by forty feet, of one story, of fourteen feet be- 
tween joints, is built at the rear of the main buildino- con- 
necting therewith by two passages, secured by iron doors 
at both ends. The annex is intended to be fire-proof for 

the storing of the records. The floor is tiled with marble, 
and supported by three heavily-built arches of brick. The 
roof is of copper, and heavy limestone coping protects and 
ornaments the same. The basement is light and dry, and 
is to be fitted up with a Boynton furnace for heating pur- 
poses. Solid granite pillars support the beams of the first 
floor of the main building, and give a sense of strength and 
durability satisfactory and pleasing. The roof of the main 
building is slate, and is surmounted by a very neat and 

proportionate cupola. The architect of the building is 

Aiken, of Brasher. It is expected the building will be 
ready for occupancy some time during the winter of 1878. 
When it is completed, it will be an honor to the county in 
point of architectural beauty and excellence, as well as eco- 
nomical construction. 

The "jail liberties,"* established in 1814, included one 
hundred and fifty acres, bounded as follows : Beginning 
at a post standing at the most southwesterly corner of the 
wharf belonging to David Parish ; thence north, 45^ east, 
two chains to the bank of the St. Lawrence river ; thence 
along the water's edge thereof, to where the southerly line 
of Morris street intersects the river , thence south, 44J° east, 
thirty-one chains and fifty links to a stake ; thence south, 
45 J° west, forty chains to a stake ; thence north, 44J° west, 
forty-one chains to beginning. The present liberties were 
laid off in 1873 by order of the county court, and contain 
455 acres, the limits of which are marked by stone monu- 
ments planted at the corners of the same, and the intersec- 
tion of the same with the streets of the village of Canton. 
The " liberties' ' are rectangular, with the jail centrally located 
therein, and includes the entire business portion of the vil- 
lage on both sides of the river and the railroad depot, 
giving the debtors who give bail for their presence thereon 
a good and pleasant ramble. 


The first compulsory charity within the limits of the 
present " Empire State," was that which the act of the colo- 
nial assembly of April, 1691, provided for, whereby the 
towns of the colony were required to support their own 
poor, and whereby, also, safeguards were thrown around the 
system to prevent imposition upon the authorities. The 
assembly of 1 683 may have also provided for such support, 
and so, also, may have the Dutch burghers before that, but 
the first laws we find recorded on the subject are those re- 
ported in Bradford's edition of the Colonial Laws from 1691 
to 1773, published in London, which gives the first act as 
passed in April of the former year. 

The legislature in 1778 provided for the support of the 
poor by towns and cities, and later on for the building of 
poor-houses by towns and counties. Previous to the adop- 
tion of the poor-house system by St. Lawrence County each 
town in the county supported its own poor. 

'■■' The liberties arc certain prescribed limits contiguous to the jail, 
in which persons Imprisoned for debt may have their liberty to range 
at pleasure, upon giving security that they will not leave the limits 
without authority from the court. Imprisonment for debt was 
abolished in 1831, except for fraud, or attempting to remove, or conceal 
property from creditors, and the " code" of 1847 continues the same 



The first action taken by the board of supervisors in re- 
gard to a poor-house for the county was at the annual 
meeting in 1825, when a vote was carried through by eleven 
yeas to seven nays to purchase a farm and build a house, 
and a certificate to that effect filed with the county clerk. 
The sum of $2400 was voted for the purpose above named, 
to be raised in three equal annual installments. Smith Still- 
well, Josiah Sanford, and Chauncey Pettibone were ap- 
pointed commissioners to locate the site and make the pur- 
chase. At an adjourned meeting held in January, 1826, 
several attempts were mkde to agree upon a site for the 
poor-house, but without success, and the commissioners 
previously appointed were discharged from further duty, 
and subsequently new commissioners were appointed, viz., 
John C. Perkins, Samuel Northrup, and Reuben Streeter, 
with power to purchase a site. This appointment was re- 
considered, and a lot of eighty acres, known as the " Nathan 
Walker lot," situated one mile west of Canton village, on 
the De Kalb road, was purchased of David C. Johnson for 
§1250. An appropriation of $500 was made to repair the 
buildings and stock the farm. A board of seven superin- 
tendents of the poor-house was appointed, viz. : Asa 
Sprague, Jr., Daniel Walker, Smith Stillwell, Samuel Par- 
tridge, Silas Wright, Jr., Joseph Barnes, and Ephraim S. 
Raymond. In 1827 $500 additional were raised to erect 
another building at the poor-house. 

In 1832 the distinction between the town and county 
poor was abolished. In 1842 fifty acres of land were 
added to the farm at a cost of $1066, and new buildings 
erected and other improvements added. In 1846 an addi- 
tion was made to the poor-house, constructed of stone. In 
1861 a resolution looking to the erection of a new poor- 
house was passed by the board of supervisors, and A. B. 
James and Edw. W. Foster were appointed a committee on 
plans, but no further action was taken in the matter until 
1865, when the board voted, at the annual meeting in No- 
vember, to purchase the Herriman farm, containing 330 
acres, at $50 per acre, situated two and a half miles north 
of Canton village, and to build a poor-house thereon not to 
exceed in cost $40,000. The farm was accordingly pur- 
chased, and a building committee appointed, viz., M. D. 
Packard, Seth G. Pope, and T. S. Clarkson (2d), who 
advertised for proposals for the erection of the buildings 
in accordance with the plans adopted, but received none 
bringing the cost of the building within the appropriation 
of $40,000. The committee then proceeded to the making 
of brick, quarrying stone, and cutting timber for the 
building on the farm, and at the annual meeting in 
1867 the appropriation was increased to $50,000. The 
building was completed by the committee in 1869, and ac- 
cepted by the board of supervisors in November of that 
year. The cost of the buildings amounted to $48,788.58 ; 
of the barn and repairs on other outbuildings, $2348.05 ; 
of the farm, $16,500; total expenditure, $67,626.63. The 
old poor farm sold for $6500. In 1872 twenty wards were 
fitted up for the confinement of the insane poor, at a cost of 
$1400. The manner in which the indigent of the county 
are cared for speaks volumes for the humanity and benevo- 
lence of the people of the wealthy county of St. Lawrence. 
The farm is well tilled and fairly productive, and the un- 

fortunates committed to the care of those immediately in 
charge of them are cared for humanely and as comfortably 
as is possible with such a class of dependents. 

The actual cost of keeping the fifty-six paupers who 
were provided for the first year of the operation of the 
poor-house system was $1055.53, 869 weeks of board being 
furnished. The second year, 1329 weeks' board were fur- 
nished, costing $2731.87. There were furnished during 
the year ending Nov. 1, 1877, 8046 weeks of board at a 
cost less than $1 per week, or $8021.54. 

In 1859 the products of the farm amounted to $1247, 
and the live stock was valued at $860, and utensils, furni- 
ture, etc., at $1700. In 1868 the products of the poor 
farm were valued at $3563, which left a net profit of $106 
on its management, inclusive of interest on its cost. In 
1870 cheese was made which sold for $752. In 1874 the 
products of the farm amounted to $4485.08. The report 
of the superintendents for the year ending Nov. 1, 1877, 
makes the following exhibit : The products of the farm 
were valued at $4285, the implements on hand, at $1231 ; 
the furniture in the house, at $1659 ; the improvements 
made on the farm during the year, at $190 ; and sundries on 
hand, at $1143 ; 155 persons were received during the year, 
and 146 discharged; 11 absconded, 22 died, and there 
were 8 births in the house ; 4 children were bound out, 
and 141 remained in the house and asylum at the date of 
the report, 70 males and 71 females. Of these unfortu- 
nates, 25 were insane, 5 were blind, 19 were idiotic, and 
3 were deaf mutes. The temporary relief supplied by 
the superintendents in the several towns amounted to 
$35,167.68, which, together with the expenses of the poor- 
house ($8021.54, and children's home $2984.24), made 
$46,173.46 expended for sweet charity's sake, besides the 
appropriations for the State charities. 

In 1842 the increasing expense of the pauper relief af- 
forded called out a letter from the board of supervisors to 
the superintendents of the poor-house, calling attention to 
what the letter characterized as the exorbitant charges al- 
lowed by the superintendents in their auditing capacity, and 
asking for a closer scrutiny of the personal services of the 
overseers of the poor, " which, many times, exceeded the 
amount of relief granted," and physicians' bills, and thought 
" the latter should not make the misfortunes of the public 
a source of profit." The board recommended that hence- 
forth the superintendents, before they granted temporary 
relief, "should ascertain whether or not the applicants 
therefor could not relieve themselves by work, and if so, to 
apply the Scripture rule, ' If there be any among you that 
will not work, neither shall he eat.' " 

The amount of appropriations made for the relief of the 
poor in St. Lawrence County by the board of supervisors 
since the adoption of the poor-house system is as follows, 
exclusive of amounts paid for farm and buildings : 

Inside Poor- Outsule Poor- Tntni 

Year. House. House. ■^°™'- 

1827 $1,918.51 $1,918.51 

1828 2,731.87 2,731.87 

1829 1,649.23 1,649.23 

1830 673.26 S661.50 1,134.76 

18.31 2,877.62 3,160.00 6,037.62 

1832 2,019.26 2,000.00 4,019.26 

1833 2,683.12 3,881.94 6,566.06 

1834 2,477.00 3,290.34 5,767.34 


Inside Poor- Outside Poor- Total. 

Year. House. House. 

1835 $2,166.15 $2,660.63 $4,726.78 

1836 2,649.19 2,836.01 6,485.20 

1837 ■ 2,493.03 6,081.70 8,674.73 

1838 2,600.00 6,677.00 9,177.00 

1839 ; 5,049.84 6,017.74 11,067.68 

1840 3,711.58 4,947.20 8,668.78 

1841 3,494.69 5,709.98 9,204.67 

1842 3,014.46 6,.334.83 9,349.29 

1843 .. ,3,.625.43 5,278.62 8,803.95 

1844" 3,839.15 5,182.09 9,021.24 

1845 3,000.00 5,641.53 8,641.63 

1846 2,784.03 4,926.42 7,710.45 

1847 3,630.61 6,311.75 9,942.26 

1848..; ^ 4,756.38 7,641.54 12,397.92 

1849 4,332.35 8,2.37.26 12,569.61 

1850 4,357.03 7,846.62 12,203.55 

1851 5,471.18 8,626.00 13,997.18 

1862 6,166.04 9,119.25 16,286.29 

1863 8,497.18 8,431.11 16,928.29 

1854 5,517.99 11,127.62 16,645.61 

1855 6,987.35 11,557.67 18,644.92 

1856 4,927.25 11,630.12 16,567..37 

1867 6,231.98 12,766.73 18,997.71 

1858 : 7,696.43 13,944.38 21,640.81 

1859 6,358.81 15,141.84 21.500.65 

I860 8,246.36 16,884.59 26,130.95 

1861 8,4,38.96 17,6.35.76 26,074.72 

1862 8,859.62 20,259.20 29,118.72 

1863 8,466.39 27,012.62 35,479.01 

1864 7,765.58 31,043.86 38,809.44 

1865 9,440.36 35,542.49 44,982.85 

1866 13,461.14 31,312.04 44,773.18 

1867 13,076.00 31,360.07 44,436.07 

1868 8,623.19 32,396.90 41.020.09 

1869 10,627.66 34,056.59 44,684.15 

1870 12,293.16, 28,781.43 41,074.59 

1871 12,143.25 31,389.93 43,533.18 

1872 9,027.35 30,039.89 39,067-24 

1873 8,339.23 27,615.35 36,954.58 

1874 6,615,16 27,682.26 34,197.42 

1875 7,624.83 27,700.62 35,325.46 

1876 7,263.15 28,012.49 35,266.64 

1877 8,021.64 35,167.68 43,189.22 

Total for 51 years, $205,942.54 $689,960.93 $795,903.47 

Add to these figures the amounts expended for that other 
charity, to give homeless waifs the comforts of a temporary 
abiding-place, — $5451.91, — and the grand aggregate of the 
county's charities to the unfortunate in its own borders 
for the last half-century reaches the munificent sum of 
$801,355. Besides this enormous expenditure, for many 
years past appropriations have been made yearly for the 
State charities, those for the year to come amounting to 
$693.31. Who shall say, in the face of the figures and 
facts, that St. Lawrence County is a " soulless corporation?" 

The cost of disbursing the charities of the county for 
the year 1877 was $1529.71, which sum was allowed the 
superintendents of the poor-house for their services and 
traveling fees. 


were first appointed by the board of supervisors, and this 
method obtained in St. Lawrence County until the office 
was made an elective one. The position has been filled as 
follows : 

1825. — Asa Sprague, Jr., Daniel "Walker, Smith Stillwell, Samuel 
Partridge, Silas Wright, Jr., Joseph Barnes, and Ephraim S. Ray- 

1826.— Silas Wright, Jr., Geo. N. Seymour, Daniel Stone, Joseph 
Ames (2d), Jabez Welles. 

1827.— Smith Stillwell, Joseph Ames, Benjamin Squires, Silas 
Baldwin, Jr., Daniel Stone. 

1828.— Samuel Partridge, Marcus Allen, John MoCall, Daniel 
Stone, Simoon D. Moody. 

1829.— Simeon D. Moody, George Guest, Aaron Atwood, Jabez 
Welles, Christopher G. Stowe. 

1830.— Aaron Atwood, C. G. Stone, Jabez Welles, ErastusVilaa, S. 
D. Moody. 

1831. — The satne as last, except Aloy Smith in place of Atwood. 

1832-33. — Stowe, Vilas, Moody, A. Z. Madison, Ansel Bailey. 

1834. — Royal Vilas vice Brastus Vilas. 

1836. — Gideon Sprague and Rodolphus D. Searle vice Vilas and 

1836.— -Josiah Waid vice Sprague. 

1837-39. — Calvin T. Hulburd vice Madison. 

1840. — Ebenezer Miner vice Moody. 

1841-42. — Frederick Sprague vice Hulburd. 

1843. — Norman Sackruler vice Moody. 

1844. — Myron G. Peck vice Sprague. 

1845-46. — N. Sackruler, B. Miner, and Luke Baldwin. 

1847-50. — Sackruler, Baldwin, Joseph Barnes, A. Burt, Hiram 

1861-63.— Luke Baldwin, P. Converse, S. P. Oliver. 

1864-65. — L. Chamberlain vice Oliver. 

1856-70. — P. Caldwell vice Converse. 

1861-77. — David Fields vice Baldwin, deceased. 

1862-66. — Levi E. Waterbury vice Chamberlain, resigned. 

1866-67. — Julius Judson vice Waterbury. 

1870-77. — Geo. Robinson vice Caldwell. 

1871-77.- Fred. P. Baloh vice Judson. 

THE children's HOME 

was established in the early part of the year 1876 by the 
superintendents of the poor-house, under the direction of 
the board. It is situated in the village of Canton, on the 
west side of the river, in a pleasant and healthy location, 
the present building being rented for the purpose at a 
rental of the interest on $2500 per annum. It will accom- 
modate fifty children, though no more than thirty-six have 
so far been in the house at one time. The expenses for 
the first year of its management amounted to $2334.35, in- 
cluding $850 for repairs and furniture. Forty-seven chil- 
dren, from two to twelve years of age, were admitted the 
first year ; eleven found homes, five absconded, and thirty 
remained in the institution at the date of the first report of 
the superintendents. The ladies of Canton assisted in get-' 
ting bedding, etc., and rendered a helping hand generally. 
The visiting committee appointed at the annual meeting of 
the supervisors, in 1876, reported as follows: " Taking into 
consideration the fact that this is our first year, and that 
the building occupied is only a rented one, — not originally 
designed for its present use, — we were well satisfied with 
all that came under our observation. It is evident a new 
building, specially arranged for the purpose, is needed to 
make its management wholesome and economical. We be- 
lieve that in establishing this institution a long step has 
been taken in the right direction towards diminishing 
pauperism, and is in entire harmony with the spirit which 
at the present time, in our State and the country at large, 
is so bravely and generously stimulating and supporting 
every movement calculated to relieve distress, and help the 
unfortunate ones whom misfortune has rendered helpless. 
We bespeak for the Children's Home the interest and good- 
will of our citizens, for we can think of nothing more 
hopeless and discouraging than the dreary childhood of a 
homeless orphan." The committee were E. W. Foster, 
Wm. Bradford, and E. R. Turner. Geo. Robinson, the 
superintendent of the poor, under whose immediate super- 
vision and management the home was established and 
managed, in making his report thereon at the end of the 
first year, invited the board of supervisors to visit the home, 
saying, " You will find some happy little faces to greet you, 
who will in after-years thank and bless you for what you 



do for them now." Several of the supervisors availed 
themselves of the opportunity and visited the home with 
the committee, and expressed themselves well satisfied with 
the success of the experiment thus far. 

The following is a summary of the report of the super- 
intendent for the second year, ending Nov. 1, 1877 : 

Thirty children were admitted to the home during the 
year, and twenty-three settled in comfortable homes. A 
school was taught in the home for thirty-eight weeks, and 
a Sunday-school, organized at the establishment of the 
home by the young gentlemen and ladies of the Presby- 
terian church of Canton, has been maintained successfully 
to the present time, and has been a factor of worth in the 
good work of the institution. The expenses of the home 
for the year amounted to the sum of $3117.56, which in- 
cludes rent, insurance, teaching, medical attendance, food, 
and clothing; 2236 weeks of board being supplied at an 
average of f 1.40 per week, which, under the circumstances, 
does not appear to the visiting and auditing committee to 
be an unreasonable expense. The manager of the home, 
Geo. Robinson, one of the superintendents of the poor- 
house, and also the committee of the board of supervisors, 
strongly recommended in their reports the erection of suit- 
able buildings as an economical and sanitary measure. 

The matron of the home since its organization is Mrs. 
Howard, who is assisted in her duties by Miss Buck. 



Population — Elections — Industry and Wealth — Agricultural Societies 
- — -Dairymen's Association — Board of Trade — Valuations and Tax- 
ation — The Taxes of Sixty-eight Tears ; " There's Millions in It" 
— State Loan — U. S. Deposit Fund — Wolf Bounties. 

The following table exhibits the population of the sev- 
eral towns in the county, as shown by the censuses : 































Be Peyster 
















J, 671 













































































De Peyster 







Hopkinton r 









Ogdensburg City 

1st Ward 

2d Ward 

3d Ward 










In asylums, penal institu- 
tions, etc 



Total 68,617 74,997 83,689 

















































),994| 84,826 84,124 




The total population of the State in 1875 was 4,704,394. 

In 1810 there were 14,638 slaves in the State, 5 in the 
county, and they had increased to 8 in the county in 1820 ; 
but in 1830 all the people of the State were free. In 1850 
the population was divided among the sexes as follows:, 
34,996 were males, and 33,582 were females ; 39 were col- 
ored, the females of the latter being in the majority by one. 
4,358 were native born Americans, outside of the State ; 
13,713 were foreign born, and the remainder, 43,546, were 
born in the State. These people constituted 11,914 fami- 
lies, who dwelt in 11,704 houses. 

In 1870 there were resident in the county 42,007 males 
and 42,819 females, of all ages. From 5 to 18 years there 
were 13,088 boys and 12,932 girls ; from 18 to 45 years, the 
males numbered 12,932 and the females 15,034. Of males 
of 21 years and upwards there were 20,806, and of male 
citizens there were 17,612. Of the native born popula- 
tion there were 66,607, whose nativity was as follows : New 
York, 59,403 ; Massachusetts, 884 ; Connecticut, 275 ; 
Vermont, 4572; Pennsylvania, 78 ; New Jersey, 71. Of 
the foreign born there were 18,219, whose nativity was as 
follows : British America, 10,067 ; England and Wales, 
1367; Ireland, 5688; Scotland, 891; Germany, 108; 
France, 36 ; Sweden and Norway, 8. Eight of the abo- 
riginal lords proprietary of the country, or their descendants 
rather, — Indians, — were returned as part of the population 
of the county. 

In 1875 there were 19,266 voters in the county, 14,925 
being native born and 4341 naturalized aliens. There were 

*■ City of Ogdensburg included in this number. 



of this class of citizens in the State 1,138,661, of whom 
743,298 were natives and 395,363 foreign born and natur- 


The first election by the people in what is now the State 
of New York, was that of the "Twelve Men," in 1641, 
held under the Dutch rule. The first election under the 
English was that of the assembly of 1665, for the promul- 
gation of the " Duke's Laws." The first election under the 
authority of the people themselves, was that one held in 
March, 1775, to elect deputies to the provincial convention, 
which met in New York, the 20th of April following, to 
choose delegates to the Continental Congress, which assem- 
bled at Philadelphia, on May 10, 1775. Down to the 
adoption of the State constitution in 1777, elections were 
held before the sherifiFs by a poU or viva voce vote. The 
constitution provided for the ballot system to be tried, after 
the war then waging had ceased, as an " experiment," 
guarding the same, however, with a provision, that " if the 
experiment proved unsatisfactory, the former method," or 
some other, should be returned to. In pursuance of this 
provision, a law was passed March 27, 1778, authorizing the 
use of the ballot in elections for governor and lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, but retaining the viva voce system for members of the 
legislature ; but in 1787, Feb. 3, the restriction was done 
away, and the ballot system introduced generally. The in- 
spector system was introduced at this time (1787), and, with 
some changes, still obtains. Local boards in each election dis- 
trict at first canvassed the returns ; the result was recorded 
by the town clerk, who forwarded the same to the county 
clerk, who recorded it in his office, and forwarded it to the 
secretary of state, who also recorded it, when the votes were 
canvassed by a. State board, consisting of the secretary of 
•state, comptroller, and treasurer, on or before the 8tli of 
June, and who published the result. By the act of 1787, 
general elections were held on the last Tuesday in April, 
and might be held five days. By the act of April 17, 1822, 
a board of county canvassers was instituted, consisting of 
one inspector of elections from each town, and the attorney- 
general and surveyor-general were added to the State can- 
vassers. The general election day was changed to the first 
Monday in November, and could be held by adjournment 
from place to place in each town or ward, for three days. 

In 1842, the date of holding general elections was changed 
to the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November, 
and the balloting confined to one day. By this last act the 
supervisors of the respective counties were constituted the 
boards of county canvassers, which system is in vogue at 
the present time. 


Under the assembly of 1691, electors were required to 
be residents of the electoral district at least three months 
prior to the issue of the writ, and to be possessed of a free- 
hold worth £40. " Freemen" of the corporations paying 
a rental of 40s. per annum, were also admitted to the rin-ht 
of sufl!rage. Catholics were not allowed to vote, nor to be 
elected, and Quakers and Moravians were at first virtually 
disfranchised, and remained so until they were allowed to 
affirm. Under the first constitution, electors were required 
to have a residence of six months, and such as were free- 

holders of estates of £20 in the county, or paid a rental of 
40s. per annum, and actually paid taxes, could vote for rep- 
resentatives to the legislature. Freemen of New York and 
Albany also were voters, for these and inferior officials, with- 
out the property qualifications ; but to cast a ballot for 
governor, lieutenant-governor, and senators, required the 
possession of a freehold worth £100 over and above all 
debts charged thereon. In 1811 these values were changed to 
corresponding sums in the Federal currency, viz., $250, 850, 
and $5. No discrimination was made against blacks and 
mulattoes, except that they were required to produce au- 
thenticated certificates of freemen. The constitution of 
1821 extended the elective franchise to every male citizen 
of the age of twenty-one years, being a resident of the 
State one year preceding any election, and of the town or 
county where he offered to vote six months, provided he 
had paid taxes, or was exempt from taxation, or had per- 
formed military duty, or was a fireman ; and also to every 
such citizen being a resident of the State three years, and 
of the county one year, who had performed highway labor, 
or paid an equivalent therefor during the year. Colored 
persons were not voters unless possessed of a freehold of 
$250 value, were residents of State three years, and had 
paid taxes on the full value of their estates, above incum- 
brances thereon. In 1826, the elective franchise was made 
free to all white male citizens, without property qualifications 
of any kind ; that qualification, however, was retained for 
colored citizens. In 1845, the property qualification re- 
quired for the holding of office under the constitutions of 
the State up to that date, was abrogated by the people. In 
1846, and again in 1860, propositions for equal suffrage to 
colored persons were rejected by the people by heavy ma- 
jorities. By the amendment to the constitution adopted 
by the people Nov. 3, 1874, " Every male citizen of the 
age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a citizen for 
ten days, and an inhabitant of the State one year next pre- 
ceding an election, and for the last four months a resident 
of the county, and for the last thirty days a resident in the 
election district in which he may offer his vote," is entitled 
to vote at such election. Elective officers under the first 
constitution were limited to the governor, lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, senators, and assemblymen, and the town officers, loan 
officers, county treasurers, and clerks of supervisors, were 
appointed as the legislature provided. All other civil and 
military officers were to be appointed by the council of ap- 
pointment, unless otherwise designated in the constitution. 
Under the second constitution, the list of elective officers 
was greatly extended, and the power of appointment of 
those not elective conferred on the governor. In 1846, 
two hundred and eighty-nine officers were thus appointed. 
The list of appointive officers is very limited at the present 

The political sentiments of the people of St. Lawrence 
County will be shown by the following tabulated statement 
of the votes cast at gubernatorial elections from 1810 to 
1826, and those at presidential elections from 1828 to 1876, 
inclusive. An election for senators, in 1808, was the firet 
election of which returns arc recorded in the county records, 
so far as ascertained, and the vote stood as follows : For 
Hopkins, McNiol, Forman, and Henry, 258; for Blood- 



good, Rich, Martin, and Halsey, 236. The first town- 
meeting was held in 1801, being that of Lisbon, while a 
part of Clinton county. 


1810. Jonas Piatt 676 

1813. Stephen Van Rens- 

sellaer 631 

1816. Kufas King 530 

1820. Be Witt Clinton 803 

1812. Joteph C. Yates 1653 

1824. be Witt Clinton 1732 

1826. Be Witt Clinton.... 1761 

D. D. Tomplcine., 


D. S. Tompkins 238 

B. D. Tompkins 461 

D. D. Tompkins 431 

Scattering 7 

Samuel Young 1123 

Wm. B. Rochester 1337 



Those in italics were elected. 


1828. Whig, 2,647; Democratic, 2,575. 

1832. " 2,784; " 3,318. 

1836. " 2,235; " 3,089 

1840. " 4,803; " 4.751 

1844. " 4,672; " 6,008 ; Abolition, 468 

1848. " 3,667; " 614 ; Free-Soil, 6,023 

1852. " 4,570; " 5,584; Abolition, 1,014 

; Democratic, 1,950; American, 1,332. 

11,324; Opposition, 4,056 

10,864; Democratic, 4,048 

11,888; " 3,941 

11,331; " 4,395 

13,465; " 5,784 

1856. Republican, 9,i 






The vote of 1876, by towns, was as follows : 






De Peyster... 


















Hopkinton 389 

Lawrence 416 

Louisville 269 

Lisbon 903 

Macomb 284 

Madrid 353 

Massena 389 

Morristown 396 

Norfolk 289 

Oswegatchie 1460 

Parishville 439 

Pierrepont 442 

Pitcairn 151 

Potsdam ~. 1268 

Rossie 229 

Russell 375 

Stockholm 677 

Waddington 416 

Til den. 











































Popular questions submitted to the people, have been 
disposed of by the electors of St. Lawrence County as 
follows : 

1821 — For the amended constitution 

Against the same 

1826 — For the election of justices of the peace and extend- 
ing the right of suffrage 2,392 

Against the same 34 

1845 — For convention to revise constitution 5,611 

Against the same 328 

For the abrogation of property qualitication for office 5,254 

Against the same 5 

1846 — For the adoption of the amended constitution 6,824 

Against the same 235 

For equal suffrage to colored persons 2,585 

Against the same 4,867 

1849— For free-school law 4,997 

Against the same 2,546 

1850— For repeal of free-school law 4,628 

Against the same 3,550 

1860 — For equal suffrage to colored citizens 8,899 

Against the same 4,413 

1864— For soldiers voting 7,116 

Against the same 190 

1866 — For act to create state debt to pay bounties 8,205 

Against the same 646 

1866 — For convention to amend constitution 10,156 

Against the same 829 

1869 — For the adoption of amended constitution 6,639 

Against the same 2,670 

For the judiciary article 1,083 

Against the same 7,289 

For uniform rule of assessment and taxation 5,082 

Against the same 3,577 

For property qualification for colored persons 2,359 

Against the same 7,215 

1870 — For an act to fund canal debt 2,261 

Against the same 10,420 

1872 — For amendment in relation to court of appeals 7,194 

Against the same 34 

For act to create State debt for general fund deficiencies 7,528 

Against the same 109 

1873 — For appointment of judges 982 

Against the same 5,617 

1874 — On eleven proposed amendments to the constitution 
submitted, the average vote on each stood as follows : 

For their adoption 7,154 

Against the same 1,718 

1876 — For abolition of canal commissioners and appoint- 
ment of superintendent of public works, and the 
abolition of inspectors of State's prisons and ap- 
pointment of a superintendent of State's prisons.... 10,942 
Against the same 1,009 


In 1810 St. Lawrence County had 247 looms, making 
19,047 yards woolen, 36,000 of linen, and 1,926 of mixed 
cloth ; 5 fulling-mills, dressing 14,000 yards ; 2 carding- 
maehines, using 10,500 lbs. wool ; 12 tanneries, using 1767 
hides ; 2 distilleries, making 25,000 gallons spirits, worth 
80 cents per gallon, and 1 trip hammer. 

The State census of 1835 gives the following statistics of 
the industry and wealth of St. Lawrence County at that 
date : 

There were 151,483 acres of improved lands in the 
county, 54,581 head of neat cattle, 10,040 horses, 81,789 
sheep, and 32,437 swine. There were in operation 41 
grist-mills, 110 saw-mills, 1 oil-mill, 27 fulling-mills, 24 
carding-machines, 3 woolen factories, 8 iron works, 8 trip 
hammers and forges, 4 distilleries, 45 asheries, 1 paper- 
mill, 1 brewery, and 25 tanneries, which used and manu- 
factured raw materials to the value of $485,897, and the 
value of the manufactured product of the same was re- 
turned at $690,772. There were manufactured 68,677 
yards of fulled cloth, 82,549 yards of flannels and such like 
goods, 64,369 yards of cotton, linen, and other thin fabrics, 
in 1834. 

The census of 1840 gave the following exhibits: 16 iron 
furnaces, 6 blooms and forges, 4 lead smelting works, em- 
ployed 687 men, and a capital of $322,000, and produced 
2462 tons of cast-iron, 185 tons bar-iron, and 270,000 pounds 
of lead. The iron works consumed 3971 tons of fuel. The 
total capital employed in manufactures aggregated $815,000, 
and the value of the product was placed at $553,000. 
There were 158 houses engaged in trade, employing 238 
men, and a capital of $561,000. The agricultural exhibit 
was as follows: 11,088 horses, 61,455 neat cattle, 125,821 
sheep, 41,889 hogs, and 12,510 bipeds of the poultry species. 
There were produced the year previous (1830) 278,007 
bushels wheat, 24,018 bushels of barley, 334,009 bushels 
of oats, 23,571 bushels of rye, 34,312 bushels of buck- 
wheat, 204,824 bushels of corn, 236,863 pounds of wool, 
3560 pounds of hops, 547 pounds of beeswax, 1,412,272 



bushels of potatoes, 99,813 tons of hay, 25 tons of flax and 
hemp, 10 tons of silk cocoons, 848.132 pounds maple sugar, 
and 16,468 cords of wood were sold. The product of the 
dairy was valued at ^260,509, and the orchard product at 
the sum of $14,823. The women's work on home-made 
goods amounted to the sum of 1136,635, and their market 
gardens produced $40,136 worth of vegetables and small 
fruits. Lumber to the value of $14,690 was manufactured, 
and 897 tons of pot and pearl ashes found a market from 
the forests of the county. Skins and furs to the value of 
$3316 were taken from the forest likewise by 85 men who 
were thus employed. There were employed in the county 
at the time of taking the census 88 persons in mining, 
12,190 in agricultural pursuits, 238 in commerce, 2141 in 
manufactures and the trades, 15 in navigating the high 
seas, 95 in navigation of the lakes, canals, and rivers, 193 
in the learned professions, and 117 were pensioners for 
military services rendered by themselves or husbands. 

In 1850 the census revealed the followino: interesting; 
facts, as ascertained by the U. S. marshals. There were 
6124 farms, containing 377,086 acres of improved lands ; 
and there were 262,627 acres of unimproved lands returned 
besides in the county, and this real estate, together with 
the improvements and implements thereon, were valued at 
$9,900,053. There were in the coilnty 13,811 horses and 
mules, 74,361 neat cattle, 89,910 sheep, and 18,423 swine. 
In 1849 there were produced in the county 289,956 bushels 
of wheat, 380,757 bushels of rye and oats, 244,690 bushels 
of corn, 476,934 bushels of potatoes, 56,319 bushels of 
peas and beans, 16,520 bushels of barley, 19,227 bushels 
of buckwheat, 4,473,368 pounds of butter and cheese, 
122,688 tons of hay, 101,855 pounds of hops, 2806 bushels 
clover and other grass-seeds, 149 bushels flax-seed, 3045 
pounds of flax, 1,236,504 pounds of maple sugar, 80 gal- 
lons of molasses, 100 pounds of tobacco, 287,900 pounds 
of wool, and 23,013 pounds of honey and beeswax. The 
value of animals slaughtered was returned at $284,571, and 
the market-gardens produced $4468 worth of " truck," and 
the orchards $29,955 ; 10 gallons of wine were also made 
by some one " for sickness," probably. There were killed 
in the county during 1849-50, 3500 deer, valued at $3 
per head. 

The manufacturing establishments carried an investment 
of $1,141,370, employed 1516 hands (counting two for one), 
and produced goods of various kinds valued at $1,783,617. 
Domestic goods to the value of $82,812 were manufactured 
by families within their own doors. 

The census of 1860 contained the following exhibit of 
the county's industry and wealth : There were returned as 
improved 571,973 acres of land, and 278,130 acres unim- 
proved, and the cash value of farms wasplaced at $22,442,701 
and the value of farming implements and machinery at 
$942,808. The live-stock was valued at $3,994,406, and 
consisted of 19,915 horses, 4 mules, 68,734 milch cows, 
4232 working oxen, 35.273 other cattle, 56,522 sheep, and 
27,149 swine. The products of the farm and dairy were 
as follows: 579,810 bushels of wheat, 41,532 bushels of 
rye, 263,562 bushels of corn, 828,007 bushels of oats, 25 
pounds of tobacco, 204,490 pounds of wool, 92,260 bushels 
of peas and beans, 1,094,718 bushels of potatoes, 175 I 

bushels of sweet potatoes, 57,150 bushels of barley, 31,118 
bushels of buckwheat; $35,023, value of orchard products 
316 gallons of wine; $15,872, value of products of market- 
gardens, 7,193,597 pounds of butter, 2,353,887 pounds of 
cheese, 165,634 tons of hay, 25 bushels of clover-seed 
4433 bushels grass-seed, 99,833 pounds of hops, 809 
pounds of flax, 26 bushels flax-seed, 1,378,142 pounds of 
maple sugar, 2740 gallons of molasses, 2578 pounds of 
beeswax, 44,351 pounds of honey; $47,483 in value of 
home-made manufactures, and the animals slaughtered were 
valued at $494,513. 

There were 367 manufacturing establishments in the 
county, of various kinds, with an invested capital of 
$1,094,061, which gave employment to 1206 males and 78 
females, to whom they paid $353,073 for wages ; the cost 
of the raw materials used was placed at $1,197,260, and 
the value of the manufactured product was returned at 

The census of 1870 contained the following returns of 
agricultural statistics : 664,823 acres of improved lands 
were returned, and the value of farms placed at $57,661,214 
and the value of all farm productions, including better- 
ments and additions to stock, was estimated at $9,598,071 
for the year previous. Live-stock was valued at $8,739,900, 
and consisted of 24,126 horses, 87,293, milch cows, 1612 
working oxen, 62,632 sheep, and 16,981 swine. 

The products of the farm and dairy for the year 1869 
were as follows: Spring wheat, 257,623 bushels; winter 
wheat, 12,078 bushels; rye, 35,295 bushels; corn, 174,840 
bushels; oats, 1,077,345 bushels; barley, 196,421 bushels; 
buckwheat, 57,078 bushels ; wool, 281,962 pounds; pota- 
toes, 1,217,809 bushels; butter, 8,419,695 pounds; cheese, 
1,710,082 pounds. There were 687 manufacturing estab- 
lishments of various kinds, 36 of which were operated by 
steam, and 563 by water-power, giving employment to 2922 
persons, of whom 2,672 were males above the age of six- 
teen years, 150 were females above the age of fifteen years, 
and 100 were youths. The capital invested in these estab- 
lishments amounted to $3,631,081 ; the wages paid, to 
$821,429 ; the materials used, $3,697,952 ; and the man- 
ufactured product was valued at $3,831,776. 

The census of 1875, taken by the State authority, has 
not, at this writing, been published, and the returns, except 
on population, have been without the reach of the com- 
pilers of this work, and hence are not given. However, 
there has been a large increase in the dairy product of the 
county, which at the present time forms the prominent fea- 
ture of the agricultural productions of the county. There 
are about eighty cheese-factories in the county, and from 
ten to fifteen butter-factories. Nearly 100,000 cows are 
milked in the county, and the gross income per head is es- 
timated at $50. The first cheese-factory built in the county 
was one at South Canton, in 1861. 


In the act of April 7, 1819, for encouraging these, St. 

Lawrence received $100 for two years. A soci'ety entitled 
" The St. Lawrence County Society for promoting agricul- 
ture and domestic manufactures" was formed in 1822. 
Membership, fifty cents annually. A meeting was to be 



held on the last Wednesday of Pebraary, for the election 
of officers, and on the third Tuesday and Wednesday of 
October, for a fair, which was to be held at Canton, Pots- 
dam, and Madrid, alternately. This society was abandoned 
in one or two years. 

On Feb. 4, 1834, a second society was formed at Ogdens- 
burg, named the " St. Lawrence County Agricultural So- 
ciety." Membership, one dollar annually. Not less than 
two fairs were to be held annua.lly at Ogdensburg. Upon 
the last day of the first fair in each year the officers were to 
be elected. Its first officers were George Parish, president; 
H. Van Rensselaer, Silas Wright, Jr., and J. C. Clarkson, 
vice-presidents; Smith Stillwell, secretary; Wm. Bacon, 
Smith Stillwell, Sylvester Gilbert, David C. Judson, U. H. 
Orvis, G. Ogden, and Henry M. Fine, managers. This 
also subsisted about two years, and at its first fair distrib- 
uted 1227 among thiity-seven competitors, principally on 

The general law of May 5, 1841, allowed this county 
f 170 annually, for five years, and led to the formation of a 
third society, of which R.. N. Harrison was president, and 
a vice-president was appointed to each town, an executive 
committee of seven, and a treasurer and two secretaries. 
Their first feir (Oct. 7, 1841) distributed $361 in sixty-six 
premiums. Their second (Sept. 14, 1842), $171 in fifty- 
eight premiums. Nine years next ensued without an agri- 
cultural society, when the board of supervisors, in 1851, 
passed a resolution strongly in favor of another attempt, 
and designated the Thursday evening following for a pre- 
liminary meeting, to take measures for an organization. 
Subsequent meetings were held, and on April 3, 1852, a 
convention was held at the court-house, and a constitution 
adopted. Henry Van Rensselaer was chosen president ; 
Uriel H. Orvis, Jonah Sanford, and Hiram Johnson, vice- 
presidents ; Henry G. Foote, secretary ; and Ebenezer 
Miner, treasurer. A corresponding secretary was appointed 
in each town. Elections are held on the second Tuesday 
in June, at the court-house, when the president, vice-presi- 
dents, secretary, and treasurer are chosen, and the executive 
committee (who are the above officers) determine the time 
in September and place for holding the annual fair, decide 
upon tiie prizes, appoint judges or committees, and take 
such action as may promote the objects of the society. 
Membership, one dollar annually, and none but members 
allowed to compete, for premiums. The fiscal year com- 
mences with October. The constitution was signed by fifty 
delegates who attended the convention. 

The first fair of this society was held at Canton, Sept. 
16, 17, 1852, on premises finely adapted for the purpose, 
in the lower part of the village, and near Grasse river. 
The grounds had been leased for a term of five years, and 
inclosed by a close board fence. Both days were delight- 
fully pleasant, and the crowds of intelligent farmers with 
their families who attended bespoke the general interest 
that was felt, and augured well of the future ; which augury ' 
has been well fulfilled in the subsequent success of the so- 
ciety. There were 396 articles offered for premiums, very 
many of which were highly creditable to the county. 

The receipts of the first fair were $1274.81, and the 
premiums ofl'ered amounted to f 299. In 1856 additional 

lands were leased of J. F. Ames, adjoining the first tract 
leased, and the track extended, and the whole grounds 
fenced. In 1858 the lands before leased were purchased 
for the society by E. Miner and L. E. B. Winslow, and the 
grounds now contain 38 acres, on which permanent and 
substantial buildings have been erected, consisting of floral, 
dining, vegetable, and mechanical halls, with sheds for 
stock, and a grand stand with a seating capacity for 3000 
persons. The grounds are well watered, and graded with 
walks and drive-ways, are beautifully shaded with trees on 
the sloping front towards the river, and have a fine track for 
the trial or speeding of horses. The cost of the fair-grounds, 
with the present improvements, is not less than $15,000. 
The society held its twenty-sixth annual fair on the 12th, 
13th, and 14th of September, 1877, at which there were 
2011 entries for exhibition, competing for $3500 in pre- 
miums, and the total receipts were about $5000. 

The show of blooded stock in the county, which began 
at fifteen or twenty animals in 1852, has increased to from 
two hundred or three'hundred fine animals. The value of 
the society is shown also in other departments, in the 
largely-increased number of exhibitors, and in the increasing 
interest taken in the growing of roots and the different 
kinds of grasses, and other measures for the improvement 
of the soil and the herds for dairying purposes. The pres- 
ent officers of the society are as follows : President, Gen. 
N. M. Curtis, Ogdensburg; Treasurer, R. B. Ellsworth, 
Canton ; Superintendent, Worth Chamberlain, Canton ; 
Secretary, A. T. Martyn, Canton. 

" The St. Lawrence County Dairymen's Association" was 
organized January 9, 1872, by the dairymen of the county, 
for the purpose of promoting the dairying interest. The 
first election was held at that time, and a constitution 
adopted, and monthly meetings have been since that time 
to the present on the first Tuesday of each month, except 
during the heated term, when they are suspended. At these 
monthly meetings discussions of various topics touching on 
the dairying interest are had, and a general annual conven- 
tion is held on the first Tuesday in January, at which 
papers are read by the ablest agriculturists and dairymen to 
be had in the country, besides addresses from local speakers. 
The association has been an efficient educator in its particu- 
lar province, and has stimulated the dairymen of the county 
to more intelligent practice and led them to improve their 
herds by the introduction of better blood, as well as provid- 
ing better care, food, and protection for them, thereby in- 
creasing the flow of milk, and adding to its quality. The 
first officers of the association were as follows : President, 
E. H. Southworth ; a vice-president in each town in the 
county ; Treasurer, H. J. Cook ; Secretary, A. T. Martyn 
(from whom the facts were obtained as recited herein) ; 
Corresponding Secretary, H. B. Parmer; Directors, C. H. 
Brown, John May, Albert Langdon, C. N. Conkey. and 
Lucius Crampton, who remain unchanged to the present, 
Orson Wallace being added to the board December, 1877. 
Dr. G. P. Cole, of Potsdam, has been president 1873-76 ; 
G. M. Gleason, 1877 ; W. L. Rutherford, of Waddington, 
1878; A. T. Martyn is still the secretary, and E. P. Tup- 
per has been the treasurer since the first year. 

The membership numbers from one hundred to one huu- 



dred and fifty annually, and is composed of the leading 
dairymen of the county, who have taken and still continue 
a great interest in the association and its work. 


This organization is an outgrowth of the dairymen's 
association, and was organized and designed to be mutual 
in its tendency, co-operative in its workings, and beneficial 
in its results, and thus far has fairly met the expectations of 
its founders. It is purely an organization for the combina- 
tion of individual efforts, which, from a business point of 
view, are in themselves, singly, incompetent to produce a 
system by which each individual shall receive the benefits 
of the combined whole. 

November 9, 1875, a meeting was held at the court-house 
in Canton, where the subject of holding market-days was 
discussed, which resulted in the appointment of a com- 
mittee to locate and make the necessary arrangements for 
such a market-day in St. Lawrence County the following 
season. The committee were, M. D. Packard, of Canton 
C. H. Brown, of Russell ; John May. of Potsdam ; Andrew 
Tuch, of Lisbon ; Hon. Geo. M. Gleason, of Gouverneur 
Lucius Crampton, Pierrepont ; Gen. N. M. Curtis, Ogdens- 
burg; Marvin Holt, De Kalb ; and H. L. Sweet, Madrid 
and they were to report at the January meeting of the 
Dairymen's Association. On January 5, 1876, Mr. Tuch, 
as chairman, presented to the association the unanimous 
report of the committee, recommending the establishment 
of a board of trade in St. Lawrence County, and also 
recommended the following list of officers for the organiza- 
tion for the first year: President, Hon. Geo. M. Gleason, of 
Gouverneur ; Vice-President, Horace W. Hale, of Canton ; 
Secretary, Marvin R. Wait, of Canton ; Treasurer, Albert 
Langdon, of Canton; Directors, L. Crampton, Pierrepont; 
H. 0. Sweet, Madrid ; 0. H. Hale, Norfolk ; 0. C. Jillson, 
De Peyster ; Thomas Mayne, Heuvelton ; John Thompson, 
Stockholm ; and Geo. H. Rowland, Morristown. The com- 
mittee also recommended Messrs. Gleason, H. W. Hale, 
Wait, Langdon, and Packard, as a committee to draft a 
constitution and code of by-laws, and located the market at 

The recommendations of the committee were concurred 
in, and a constitution or articles of association and rules of 
government reported subsequently by the committee in 
charge of the same, were adopted. The name of the orga- 
nization was adopted as it appears at the head of this sketch 
and the membership fee placed at one dollar per annum 
the members only being entitled to a voice in the counsels 
of the board. Butter- or cheese-factories are admitted to the 
privileges of the board and of the salesroom on the pay- 
ment of five dollars per annum. Fifty cents will admit 
non-members to the privileges of the salesroom for a sino-le 
day, except voting. The buyer and his agent being admit- 
ted on one ticket. Visitors are admitted by courtesy, with- 
out privilege of buying or selling. The market-day was 
established on Friday of each week, from the second week 
in May to the first in December. 

The first market-day was held May 12, 1876, and con- 
tinued on Friday of each week until and including Octo- 

ber 27 of that year. On each of these days a telegram 
was received from the Associated Press, of New York, giv- 
ing the price of cheese in Liverpool, and of butter, cheese, 
and gold in New York, and the tone of the market. The 
largest number of cheese-factories offering in one day dur- 
ing the first year was twenty-three, and the heaviest offer- 
ing was 6251 boxes. The membership was 121, including 
32 factories, the fees amounting to $233. There were 
registered ofi"erings of 54,2.47 boxes of cheese, aggregating 
3,254,820 pounds, and thousands of boxes were offered at 
different times, which were not registered, for some reason 
unknown. Besides these oflferings, there were heavy sales 
by others than members of the board. 

The prices ranged from nine to eleven and five-eighths 
cents per pound. The fall cheese was not sold until the 
last of November, after the board closed, and brought 
twelve and a half and thirteen cents. The actual trans- 
actions on the board in cheese amounted to $325,482. 
There were offered and bought also on the board 609 tons, 
or 1,218,440 pounds of butter, costing $335,073, with the 
price ranging from fifteen to forty cents per pound, averag- 
ing between twenty-seven and twenty-eight cents. The 
actual and open transactions of the board in both butter 
and cheese aggregated the sum $660,555. There were 
twenty different buyers on the market during the season, 
with an average attendance on each day of from seven to 
ten, and the salesmen were from seventeen different towns. 

The transactions of 1877 are not closed at this writing, 
so that an exact statement of the year's business cannot 
be made, but the factory representation has been better for 
the present season than the past one of 1876, and the offer- 
ings and sales have been steadier. The greatest number of 
factories offering in one day the present season, as registered, 
was twenty-five, and the offerings have ranged from one 
thousand to eight thousand boxes. Judging from the trans- 
actions to date, and those likely to be made before the 
board closes, the offerings of 1877 will reach eighty thou- 
sand boxes of cheese, and the butter oflferings will also show 
a large increase over the first year's transactions, which 
demonstrates the usefulness of the board, and warrants the 
indulgence of hopeful prophecies of its future continued 
success. There are in the county between seventy and 
eighty cheese-factories. 

The officers of 1877 are Andrew Tuch, of Lisbon, presi- 
dent; Charles N. Conkey, Canton, vice-president; Mar- 
vin R. Wait, of Canton, secretary (to whom we are in- 
debted for the facts contained in this account); Albert 
Langdon, Canton, treasurer. The directors remain un- 


Public moneys were first raised in the colony of New 
York, June 1, 1665, by warrant issued by the governor, 
Colonel Nicholls, to the sheriff and collectors.* It would 
appear that antecedent to this time the towns and counties 
raised moneys for their own use, but the precise mode is 
not known. A tax called a " benevolence" was raised on 
the inhabitants, as appears from a letter from Governor 
Andrass, and Smith observes " this proceeding was a badge 

* Smith's History of New York, p. 31. 



of bad times."* In 1683, the first regular system of taxa- 
tion by law was adopted. The wars of England with 
European nations, especially with the French, plunged the 
colony into an enormous debt, most burdensome to the 
inhabitants. From 1691 to 1709 the sum of £61,861 was 
raised by the colonists for building forts, raising and paying 
troops, and for other war purposes, besides the excise tax of 
a penny in the pound for the ordinary and incidental 
charges of the colony. Before 1776 the colonists were 

obliged to pay nearly £1,000,000 sterling. In 1788 the 
first regular system of taxation was adopted by the 

The valuations and taxation of St. Lawrence by periods 
of five years since 1815 are given in the following table. 
The school taxes, down to and including the year 1850, 
were raised by the towns, and are included in the amount 
of town taxes. The amount of school taxes from and 
including 1855, are included in the State levies. 


of Laad. 


Value of 

Heal Estate. 


Value of 

Personal Prop, 


state Taxes. 

County Taxes. 

Town Taxes. 

School Taxes. 

of Taxes. 






























14 335 fift 










































42,41 ; .38 





89 119 90 






451,449 23 




The following table exhibits the valuations and taxation for the county, as made and estimated by the board of super- 
visors for 1877-78 : 



Value of 

Eeal Estate. 


Value of 

Real Estate. 

Value of 


State tax. 

County Tax. 

Town Taxes. 

Dog Tax. 

Total Taxes. 








191, .540 


' 375,339 










784 82 

• 1,187,71 


161 ,66 




2,871 96 






6,996 87 















































693 07 



De Kalb 







































. 6,580.73 



- 41,619.75 










Totals '.. 










The county tax was levied to cover the following appro- 
priations made by the supervisors at the annual session of 

Bonds due on loan for county clerk's office and 


Extras on clerk's offices 

Salaries of county officers 

Charities. — Lunatic" asylums ; $8,000.00 

Institutions for blind, deaf mutes, and insane 

criminals 693.26 

Por superintendents of the poor 44,988.16 

Poor-house and superintendent's services 1,529.71 





* Smith's History of New York, p. 34. 

Court expenses, including stenographer $8,725.00 

Sheriff's and jailer's accounts 5,458.30 

Constables and justices 2,678.64 

County clerli's accounts 1,089.51 

Jail library 50.00 


Printing 2,629.40 

Excise accounts 666.00 

School commissioners' services (cast as a school- 
tax on the several towns) 600.00 

Non-resident taxes 860.00 

Refunding 33.00 

Miscellaneous accounts 3,274.15 

Total $94,428.23 

The county treasurer's report for the year ending Nov. 
1, 1877, shows the following receipts of revenue for the 
year in his office : 




On hand November 1, 1876 $17,361.51 

Received from bondsmen of former treasurer 40,464.58 

" " town collectors (taxes 1876) 115,148.88 

*' " comptroller, school moneys 64,783.81 

" excise moneys, from towns 2,502.00 

" from board of State paupers $254.57 

" " individuals for care of persons in 

county house 432.00 


Received fines from district attorney 325.00 

" on bond and mortgage on old poor-farm. 237.00 

Miscellaneous receipts 945.13 

Resident and non-resident taxes received 435.33 

Non-resident taxes from comptroller 6,636.54 

Total receipts, exclusive of balance on hand Nov. 

1, 1876 $192,164.84 

Balance on hand Nov. 1, 1877 $16,459.74 

The total amount of taxes levied by the board of super- 
visors from the year 1814 to 1877, both years inclusive, 
is as follows : 

1814 to 1825 $179,875.58 

1826 to 1835 273,805.38 

1836 to 1845 416,300.68 

1846 to 1855 588,269.68 

1856 to 1865 1,913,230.34 

1866 to 1877 4,038,823.28 


These amounts are exclusive of the school district taxes 
levied by the school authorities of the respective towns. 

There were issued, by the authority of the board of 
supervisors, war bonds of the county, in 1864 and 1865, to 
encourage enlistments into the army for the suppression of 
the Rebellion, to the amount of $1,008,350, on which the 
sum of $357,000 or thereabouts, in interest, has been paid, 
and the entire amount of principal, with the exception of 
one bond of $100, which is not due until 1880, and the 
holder of which, a widow lady, declines to receive the prin- 
cipal tUl the same is due. The State, in 1865, refunded, 
on bounties paid under the call of Dec. 9, 1864, the sum 
$242,500. The history of the bond unpaid, just mentioned, 
is interesting. The present holder gave her two sons, her 
only children, to the service of the country, and when the 
county committee solicited subscriptions for the war loan 
she sent one hundred dollars, all the money she had, and 
asked for a bond, the time of payment of which should be 
deferred to the farthest authorized limit, which was accord- 
ingly done, and the patriotic mother still holds the bond 
and draws the annual interest thereon. 


On April 18, 1786, bills of credit to the amount of 
£200,000 (New York currency) were emitted by the State 
for the relief of the people in the way of a circulating me- 
dium, and loaned to the different counties according to their 
population, and loan commissioners appointed in each county 
to manage and loan the same on real estate security at five 
per cent, per annum, the loan to run fourteen years and 
limited to £300 to any one person. These bills of credit 
were counterfeited, and in February, 1788, new bills were 
printed for those in circulation and the old ones retired and 
death pronounced on all counterfeiters of the new issue. In 
1796 another loan was made to the new counties, and in 
1807-8 still another loan was made by the creation of a 
debt by the State, bonds being issued therefor and sold, and 
the funds arising therefrom distributed pro rata among the 
counties on the basis of population, and commissioners ap- 

pointed as before to handle the funds in each county. The 
amount received by St. Lawrence County was $4473, which 
was kept at interest as a separate fund, until 1850, when it 
was consolidated with the 


the principal of which was deposited in the county in 1837 
and amounted to $103,501, and separate and distinct com- 
missioners appointed to loan the same. This deposit fund 
was the portion awarded to St. Lawrence County from the 
surplus moneys in the United States treasury deposited 
with the several States by act of Congress, of June 23, 1836 
and the amount deposited with New York was, by act of 
the legislature of April 4, 1837, distributed among the sev- 
eral counties according to their population. The loans from 
this fund are limited between $200 and $2000 to a single 
individual, except in New York, where the limits are $500 
and $5000. The interest is charged at seven per cent., and 
the same paid into the State treasury, less fees and expenses 
of collection, and by the comptroller distributed among the 
counties for the support of schools and academies. 

The loan and deposit funds were both diminished by 
reason of defaults in payment of loans, and consequent sale 
of mortgaged lands, which were bid in by the State, and 
payments to the State on account of the principal, until, in 
1850, when the funds were consolidated, the amount of the 
same was $85,367.43. 

The last report of the commissioners shows the amount 
of the fund to be over $82,000 now on loan on real estate. 


The board of supervisors offered bounties from time to 
time for the destruction of wolves and panthers, ranging 
from $10 to $20 for full grown animals of the former 
species, and $5 to $10 for the whelp; and from $5 to $15 
for panthers, the former being more destructive among the 
sheep of the farmers than the latter. Bounties were paid 
from 1814 to 1850, as follows : 1815, $270 ; 1816, $1230; 
1817, $480; 1818, $707; 1819, $455; 1820, $1225; 
1821, $1465; 1822, $405; 1823, $245; 1824, $340; 
1825, $510 ; 1826, $760 ; 1827, $670 ; 1828, $980 ; 1829, 
$640 ; 1830, $470 ; 1831, $740 ; 1832, $390 ; 1833, $895 ; 
1834, $605 ; 1835, $510 ; 1836, $435 ; 1837, $1005 ; 1838, 
$950 ; 1839, $705 ; 1840, $205 ; 1841, $110 ; 1842, $365 ; 
1843, $260 ; 1844, $365 ; 1845, $205 ; 1846, $160 ; 1847, 
$120; 1848, $80; 1849, $125; 1850, $60,— total, $19,142. 
Bounties are still offered for the destruction of these ani- 
mals, but few scalps, however, are taken annually. 



Officers of the Nation, the State, the Judiciary, the Senate, the 
Assembly, and the County. 

The fame of the county of St. Lawrence is coextensive 
with the nation of which it is an integral part. Its citizens 
have maintained its reputation and upheld its honor in the 



senate, in the lower house of Congress, in the governor's 
mansion, on the bench of the State, and in the legislature. 
Their counsels have prevailed in the halls of national and 
State legislation, and wherever the stars and stripes float in 
all of our broad Union the names of her sons, Wright and 
King, are known and honored. 

In the nation the county has been thus represented : 


Appointed by joint session of the State legislature. 
Term, six years: 

Silas Wright, Canton, Feb. 7, 1837; re-elected Feb. 7, 184.3; re- 
signed November, 1844. 
Preston King, Ogdensburg, Feb. 6, 1857 ; served one term. 


The Federal Constitution directs that a census be taken 
every ten years, and after each enumeration Congress appor- 
tions the representation among the several States. As soon 
as practicable, after each apportionment, the legislature di- 
vides the State into congressional districts. 

The apportionment of New York has been as follows 
since the adoption of the constitution in 1788 : 

Years. Batio. Kepreseutatives. 

1789 30,000 6 

1792 33,000 10 

1802 33,000 17 

'1811 25,000 27 

1822 40,000 34 

1832 47,000 40 

1842 70,680 34 

1852 93,433 33 

1861 127,000 31 

1872 137,800 33 

The districts which have included St. Lawrence in their 
bounds have been as follows : 

Under act of March 23, 1797, district 7, composed of 
Clinton, Essex (1799), Saratoga, and Washington. 

Act of March 30, 1802, district 15, Herkimer, Oneida, 
and St. Lawrence. 

Act of March 20, 1804, Jefferson and Lewis were added 
on their erection in 1805. 

Act of March 8, 1808, district 10, Herkimer, Jefferson, 
Lewis, and St. Lawrence. 

Act of June 10, 1812, district 18, Jefferson, Lewis, and 
St. Lawrence. 

Act of April 17, 1822, district 20 (entitled to two mem- 
bers), Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, and St. Lawrence. 

Act of June 29, 1832, district 14, Franklin and St. 

Act of Sept. 6, 1842, district 18, Lewis and St. Law- 

Act of July 19, 1851, district 17, Herkimer and St. 

Act of April 23, 1862, district 17, St. Lawrence and 

Act of June 18, 1873, simply changed the number of 
the district to 19, leaving its area the same as last consti- 


Elected for terms of two years, by districts. 
David A. Ogden, Madrid (now Waddington), 1817-19, 15th Con- 

Silas Wright, Canton, 1827-29, 20th and 21st Congresses. 

Jonah Sandford, Hopkinton, 1829-31, 2l5t Congress. 

Ransom H. GiUett, Ogdensburg, 183.3-37, 23d and 24th Congresses. 

John Fine, Ogdensburg, 1839-41, 26th Congress. 

Henry Van Rensselaer, Ogdensburg, 1841-43, 27th Congress. 

Preston King, Ogdensburg, 1843-47, 28th and 29th Congresses ; 
1849-53, 31st and 32d Congresses. 

Bishop Perkins, Ogdensburg, 1853-56, 33d Congress. 

Socrates N. Sherman, Ogdensburg, 1861-63, 37th Congress. 

Calvin T. Hulburd, Brasher, 1863-69, 38th, 39th, and 40tb Con- 

Amaziah B. James, Ogdensburg, 1877-79, 45th Congress. 


Appointed by the legislatures down to 1825, when the 
district system was adopted by the people, but acted under 
for one election only, that of 1828, when by an act passed 
April 15, 1829, the legislature adopted the general ticket 
system as now in use. In making up the general ticket 
one person is selected from each congressional district, and 
two to represent the State at large. In 1872 there were 
three electors at large, one for a congressman at large given 
the State before redistricting. 

1808, Russell Atwater; 1828, Augustus Chapman; 1836, David C. 
Judson; 1856, Smith Stilwell; 1864, Preston King (at large) ; 1872, 
Henry R. James ; 1876, William J. Averill. 

In the years of the presidential elections not given in the 
above, the electors were from other portions of the district. 

Attorneys of the United States. — Appointed by the 
president, by and with the consent of the senate : — William 
A. Dart, for the northern district of New York, appointed 
March 27, 1861 ; and reappointed March 10, 1865. 

Consul- General of the United States at Montreal. — 
William A. Dart, now in office. 

Surveyor of the Fort of New York. — General Edwin A. 
Merritt, under President Grant, and recently appointed by 
President Hayes, and now occupying the position. 

In the State, the county has been thus represented : 

Governor. — Silas Wright, elected in 1844, receiving 241,090 votes, 
to 231,057 oast for Millard Fillmore, and 15,136 for Alvan Stewart. 

Stajff' of the Governor, as commander-in-chief of the militia and 
admiral of the navy. Appointed by the governor, at his pleasure. 
General Edwin A. Merritt, quartermaster-general, appointed January 
2, 1865. 

Comptroller. — The office of auditor-general was created by the pro- 
vincial convention of 1776, for the purpose of settling certain public 
accounts. In 1797 the office was abolished, and that of comptroller 
was substituted therefor, which was continued by extensions of two 
and three years until February 28, 1812, when it was permanently 
organized. Under the first and second constitutions, the office was 
an appointive one, but under the present organic law it is elective, — 
term, two years. The comptroller is the financial officer of the 
State. Silas Wright, Jr., of Canton, was appointed to the office 
January 27, 1829, and held the same until February 11, 1834. 

Attorney-General. — The law officer of the State, whose duties have 
been substantially the same since the creation of the office under the 
colony. Appointed under the first constitution, chosen by joint bal- 
lot of legislature under the second, and elected by the people under 
the present regime biennially, each odd year. Charles G. Myers, 
Ogdensburg, 1860-61. 

Canal Appraiser. — Appointed by governor and senate ; term, three 
years. Charles G. Meyers, appointed .January 24, 1873. 

Inspector of State's Prisons.^' — Elective under present constitution ; 
term, three years. Dr. Darius Chirk, Canton, 1850 to 1855 inclusive. 

Comniisaioners of Public Charities, — Organized 1867, under name 

* Abolished 1876, and office of Superintendent of State's Prisons 
created instead. 



of Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities. Consisted of 
eight commissioners, one in each judicial district, appointed by the 
governor, with consent of senate. In 187.S the name was changed to 
the State Board of Charities. It has the power of visitation of nil 
charitable institutions, public or private, and also all eleemosynary, 
correctional, and reformatory institutions except State's prisons. The 
term of office is eight years. Edward W. Foster, Potsdam, appointed 
for the fourth district June 17, 1867, and re-appointed for the third 
district May 28, 1873. 

New Capitnl Commissioners. — Designated first by the act providing 
for the construction of a new capitol, and subsequently appointed by 
the governor. Edwin A. Merritt, Potsdam, appointed April 7, 



The justices of the supreme court under the constitu- 
tion of 1846 were originally elected for a term of eight 
years, by districts, but under the amended judiciary article, 
adopted in 1869, the term is fourteen years. 

Justices of the Foui-th Judicial District. — Amaziah B. James, Og- 
densburg, two terms, from January 1, 1853, to December 31, 1869; 
William H. Sawyer, Canton, appointed to fill vacancy December 26, 
1876, and term expired December 31, 1877 ; Charles 0. Tappan, Pots- 
dam, term began_ January 1, 1878, and expires December 31, 1891. 


Appointed by the council of appointment under first 
constitution, and by the governor under the second one. 

First Judges.— 'Siaihan Ford, 1802 to 1820; David A. Ogden, 1820 
-1824, and 1826-1828; John Pine, 1826, and 1829-1838: Horace 
Allen, 1838-1843 ; John Fine, 1843, till the Court of Common Pleas 
was abolished by the new constitution. 

Judges (with years of first and last appointment). — Alexander J. 
Turner, 1802; Joseph Edsall, 1802-1808; Russell Atwater, 1808- 
1818; Benjamin Raymond, 1808-1814; Alexander Richards, 1808- 
1818; Roswell Hopkins, 1810-,1814; Robert Livingston, 1811-1828; 
David A. Ogden, 1811-1814; Thomas J. Davies, 1815-1818; N. P. 
Winslow, 1815; Jason Fenton, 1818-1828; Amasa Haokley, Jr., 
1823; Ansel Bailey, 1823-1828; Smith Stilwell, 1823-1828; David 
C. Judson, JabezWilles, Asa Sprague, Jr., Chauncey Pettibone, 1829; 
Minet Jenison, 1832-1837; Zenas Clark, 183."); Edwin Dodge, George 
Kedington, Phineas Attwater, 1846. Besides those above named, 
James Averill, Anthony C. Brown, and Isaac R. Hopkins have also 
acted under appointment as judges. The list here given is necessarily 
imperfect, from the defective manner in which the records of appoint- 
ments were formerly kept. 

Assistant Justices. — By appointment, Stillman Foote, John Tib- 
bits, Jr., March 10, 1802; Luke McCracken, Robert Livingston, 
Daniel W. Church, March 6, 1806; Daniel W. Church, Stillman^ 
Foote, April 8, 1808 ; John Tibbits, Jr., Luke McCracken, Charles 
Cox, Daniel W. Church, Stillman Foote, David Ford, David Robin- 
son, Reuben Ashman, March 6, 1811 ; Charles Cox, June 6, 1812 • 
Daniel "W. Church, John Tibbits, Jr., Stillman Foote, David Ford 
Daniel Robinson, Reuben Ashman, April 6, 1814; Eeuben Ashman, 
Jason Fenton, D. W. Church, Richard Townscnd, Zephaniah French 
Timothy Pope, John Polley, Charl«s Hill, Caleb Hough, Jr., April 
16, 1816; Caleb Hough, Moses A. Bunnell, John Lyttle, Reuben 
Streeter, N. P. Winslow, March 16, 1818. 

At this last date the office was abolished. 


Elected under the present constitution at first for four 
years, but since the adoption of the amended judiciary 
article, in 1869, for six years. 

Edwin Dodge, .June, 1847, to December 31, 1855 ; William C. Brown, 
January 1, 1866, to December 31, 1863 ; Henry L. Knowles, January 

1, 1864, to December 31, 1871; Charles 0. Tappan, November, 1871, 
to December 31, 1877; Leslie W. Russell, November, 1877; term 
expires December 31, 1883. 


Designated yearly from among the Justices of the Peace 
of the county. 

1847, Joseph Barnes, James C. Barter; 1849, Joseph Barnes, Chil- 
Icab Billing; 1860, Joseph Barnes, Silas Baldwin; 1851 and 1862, 
Joseph H. Beard, Silas Baldwin [for 1853-54r-56 we are unable to 
complete the list]; 1857-68, Harlow Godard, Joseph Barnes; 1859, 
Silas Baldwin, Joseph Barnes ; 1860, Silas Baldwin, Roswell Hop- 
kins; 1861, 0. D. Edgerton, Harlow Godard; 1862-64, Edgerton and 
Baldwin ; 1866, Baldwin and W. E. Tanner; 1866, Tanner and God- 
ard ; 1867-68, Baldwin and Geo. G. Simons ; 1869-70, Baldwin and 
A. S. Tucker; 1871-72, Baldwin and James Miller; 1873-76, Baldwin 
and W. P. Smith; 1876, A. S. Tucker and Rufus K. Jackson; 1877, 
Cornelius Carter and Tucker; 1878, Carter and Geo. Backus. 


Elected for terms of three years. 

William H. Wallace, 1854-66; Wm. H. Sawyer, 1866-57; Edward 
Crary, 1858; Harvey D. Smith, 1858-59; Edward H. Neary, 1860; 
Edward Crary, 1861-63; Samuel B. M. Beckwith, 1864^66; Edward 
H. Neary, 1867-75; Vasco P. Abbott, 1876-79. 


Appointed under first and second constitutions ; elected 
under present one ; at first for terms of four years, and 
since 1869 for six years. 

Mathew Perkins, 1802-08 (till his death) ; Andrew McCollom, 1809 
-13 ; Gouverneur Ogden, 1813-20 ; Silas Wright, Jr., 1821-23 ; Horace 
Allen, 1824-40; James Redington, 1840-44; Charles 6. Myers, 
1844^47; Benjamin G. Baldwin, 1847-65; James Redington, 1856- 
59; Harvey D. Smith, 1860-63; Stillman Foote, 1864-77; D. A. 
Johnson, 1878; term expires 1883. 


Elam R. Paige, 1867-68; Heber Sykes, 1869-71; Horace B. Ells- 
worth, 1872-74; Worth Chamberlain, 1875-77. 



Under the first constitution this body consisted of twenty- 
four members, apportioned among four great districts, — 
Eastern, Southern, Middle, and Western. After the first 
election they were divided by lot into four classes, so that 
the terms of six should expire each year. This representa- 
tion was increased whenever a septennial census revealed 
an increase of one twenty-fourth in the number of electors, 
until the number should reach one hundred. In 1795 the 
number was forty-three. In 1801 the number of senators 
was fixed at thirty-two permanently, and has since remained 
unchanged to the present. The State was divided into 
eight senatorial districts by the constitution of 1821, each 
one being entitled to four senators, one to be elected each 
year for a term of four years. The constitution of 1846 
changed the time of election of senators to each odd year, 
and reduced the term to two years, and created thirty-two 

Senatorial Districts. — St. Lawrence was a part of the 
Western district from the erection of the county to April 
7, 1815, when it was made a part of the Eastern district, 



and so remained until the second constitution was in force. 
That instrument formed the Fourth district of Clinton, 
Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, 
Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties. In May, 
1836, Herkimer was added, and Fulton in April, 1838. 
The constitution of 1846 formed St. Lawrence and Frank- 
lin the Fifteenth district; the act of April 13, 1857, 
changed the number to the Seventeenth, which number 
and territory has since remained unchanged. 

Senators. — Russell Atwater, RussoU, 1813-16, Eastern district. 

David C. Judson, Ogdensburg, 1822, 4th district. 

Silas Wright, Canton, 1824-27, 4th district. 

Louis Hasbrouok, Ogdensburg, 1833-34, 4th district. 

Jabez Willes, Potsdam, 1835-38, 4th district. 

James G. Hopkins, Ogdensburg, 1840-43, 4th district. 

John Fine, Ogdensburg, 1848-49, 15th district. 

William A. Dart, Potsdam, 1850-51, 15th district. 

Zenas Clark, Potsdam, 1854- 57, loth district. 

Bloomfield Usher, Potsdam, 1858, 15th district. 

Charles C. Montgomery, Waddington, 1860-63, 17th district. 

Abel Godard, De Kalb, 1866-67, 17th district. 

Abraham X. Parker, Potsdam, 1868-71, 17th district. 

Darius A. Moore, De Kalb, 1876-77, 17th district. 

Dolphus S. Lynde, Hermon, elected for 1878-79, 17th district. 


The first representative assembly that convened in what 
is now the State of New York was " The Twelve Men," 
under the Dutch rule, who were elected in Manhattan 
(New York city), Brooklyn, and Pavonia (Jersey City), to 
suggest means to punish the Indians for a murder they had 
committed. The first representative assembly under Eng- 
lish rule met at Hempstead, Long Island, March, 1655, but 
this could not be called a legislative assembly, as it simply 
promulgated laws — " the Duke's Laws" — prepared for such 
purpose. The first legislative assembly was that of 1683, 
which was afterwards abrogated, and all the laws it had 
enacted ; and that one of 1691 created, which continued 
through the colonial period. Under the State authority 
the assembly has always been chosen annually. It con- 
sisted at first of seventy members, with the power to increase 
one with every seventieth increase of the number of electors, 
until it contained three hundred members. When the con- 
stitution was amended in 1801 the number had reached 
one hundred and eight, when it was reduced to one hun- 
dred, with a provision that it should be increased after each 
census at the rate of two annually until the number reached 
one hundred and fifty. The constitution of 1821 fixed the 
number permanently at one hundred and twenty-eight, and 
members were elected on a general ticket. 

The constitution of 1846 required the boards of super- 
visors of the several counties to meet on the first Tuesday 
in January succeeding the adoption of that instrument, 
and divide the counties into districts of the number ap- 
portioned to them, of convenient and contiguous territory, 
and of as nearly equal population as possible. After each 
State census the legislature is to re-apportion the members, 
and to direct the time when the supervisors shall meet for 
the purpose of re-districting the county. Pursuant to this 
provision, the boards met in June, 1857, and in June, 
1866. Hamilton and Fulton counties together elect one 
member, and every other county one or more. 

Asseinhly Apportionment of St. Lawrence County — First 
Constitution.— ¥vom March 3, 1802, to March 28, 1805, 
the county was represented with Oneida county. From 
March 28, 1805, to April 1, 1808, St. Lawrence, Jefi'er- 
son, and Lewis formed one district, entitled to one mem- 
ber. From the latter date to April 18, 1826, St. Law- 
rence comprised one district, having one member. From 
the last-named date to the adoption of the constitution of 
1846 this county had two members, from which time 
forward to the present there have been three members 
sent from the county, which was divided into as many 

Assemhly Districts. — By the districting of 1847, the first 
district was composed of the towns of De Kalb, De Peys- 
tor, Fowler, Gouverneur, Hammond, Macomb, Morris- 
town, Oswegatchie, Pitcairn, and Rossie. The second 
district was composed of the towns of Canton, Edwards, 
Fine, Hermon, Lisbon, Madrid, Norfolk, Pierrepont, and 
Russell. The third district was composed of the towns of 
Brasher, Colton, Hopkinton, Lawrence, Louisville, Massena, 
Parishville, Potsdam, and Stockholm. 

By the districting of 1857 and 1866 the first district 
remained unchanged, with exception of the transfer of the 
town of Fine from the second district; the second was 
composed of the towns of Canton, Clifton (from April 21, 
1868), Colton, Edwards, Hermon, Lisbon, and Madrid, 
Norfolk, Pierrepont, Russell, and Waddington (from No- 
vember 12, 1859). The third district remained un- 
changed, with the exception of the transfer of Colton to the 
second district. 

1808-9. Alexander Richards. 

U3. jyij!ii>. 

William Allen. 

1810-13. Roswell Hopkins 


William Allen, 

1814. Louis Hasbrouck 

Sylvester Butrick. 

1815. David A. Ogden. 


Jabez Willes, 

1816-17. Wm. W. Bowen. 

Sylvester Butrick. 

1818. David C. Judson. 


Preston King, 

1819-21. Joseph York. 

Wm. S. Paddock. 

1822. Wm. H. Vining. 


Preston King, 

1823-24. Nathaniel F. Win 


Myron G. Peck. 

1825. J. A. Vanden Heuvel. 


Myron G. Peck, 

1826. Baron S. Doty. 

Asa Sprague. 

1827. Baron S. Doty, 


Asa Sprague, 

Sylvester Gilbert. 

Zenas Clark. 

1828. Jabez Willes, 


Zenas Clark, 

Moses Rowley. 

Solomon Pratt. 

1829. Jonah Sanford, 


Calvin T. Hiilburd, 

Harvey D. Smith 

Geo. Redington. 

1830. Jonah Sanford. 


Asa L. Hazelton, 

Asa Sprague, Jr. 

John L. Russell. 

1831. Asa Sprague, Jr., 


Asa L. Hazelton, 

Joseph Freeman. 

Bishop Perkins. 

1832. Edwin Dodge, 

Ist District. 


d District. 

3d District. 

1847..Bishop Perkins, 


13 Atwater, Henry Barber. 

1848..Cha3. G. Myers, 


3. Chipman, Benj. Holmes. 

1849.. Harlow Godard, 


B. Pickit 

, Noble S. Elderkin. 

1850.. " 



It tt 

1851..Smith Stilwell, 



tt tt 

1852.. " " 


rain Smith 

, Parker W. Rose. 

1853..Barnabaa Hall, 



tt tt 




Levi Miller. 

1855..A3aph Green, 



tt tt 

1856..Emory W. Abbott, 



Daniel P. Rose, Jr 

1857.. " " 



Erasmus D. Brook 




Ist Diatrict. 

.Harlow Godard, 

it i{ 

.Charles KichardsoD, 
ti It 

Elias P. Townsley, 

Geo. Parker, 
i< It 

Geo. M. Gleason, 

2d District. 3d District. 

William Briggs, Oscar F. Shepard. 
tt tt it tt 

Edwin A. Merritt, Clark S. Chittenden. 
It It tt tt 

James Kedington, Calvin T. Hulburd. 

" " Abraham X. Parker, 

tt ft tt tt 

" '* Daniel Shaw. 

W. R. Chamberlain, " " 

" " Richmond Bicknell. 

Julius M. Palmer, A. H. Andrews. 

.Darius A. Moore, 
tt tt 

.Seth Q. Pope, 
it tt 

David McFalls, 
tt tt 

Geo. F. Rowland, 

Dolphus S. Lynde, 

A. Barton Hepburn; 

Wm. Bradford. 
It It 

Parker W. Rose. 

Jonah Sanford. 
It tt 

Lewis C. Lang. 
tt tt 

Rufus S. Palmer. 


District Attorneys. — The original appellation of this office 
was that of assistant attorney-general, and the districts were 
seven in number, and embraced several counties each. The 
office was filled by the council of appointment, at pleasure, 
under the first constitution, and by the courts of sessions 
under the second one. Under the present constitution the 
oflice is an elective one, for terms of three years. The name 
of the office was changed to its present appellation in 1801. 

Down to 1818 St. Lawrence County formed a part of the 
district comprising Lewis and Jefferson counties also, and 
no district attorney resided in this county. Since that date 
the office has been filled as follows : John Scott was the first 
one, and he was succeeded by Bishop Perkins. John W. 
Grant in 1840, and William A. Dart in 1845, were the 
other incumbents up to the date of the first election of an 
- attorney, who was Charles G. Myers, who served two terms, 
1847-1853. The succession has been as follows : Thomas 
V. Russell, 1854-60 ; B. H. Vary, 1861-69 ; Leslie W. 
Russell, 1870-72 ; John R. Brinckerhoff, 1873-78. 

County Clerics. — By appointment until 1847 ; and by 
election since, for terms of three years. 

Louis Hasbrouck, March, 1802, to June, 1811. 

Alexander Richards, June, 1811, to March, 1813. 

Louis Hasbrouck, March, 181.3, to March, 1817. 

Myrtle B. Hitchcock, March, 1817, to July, 1819. 

Joseph York, July, 1819, to February, 1821. ■ 

Myrtle B. Hitchcock, February, 1821, to Dec. 31, 1825. 

James G. Hopkins, 1826-31. 

William A. Root, 1832 (six months). 

A. C. Low, June, 1832, to July 8, 1843 (time of decease). 

John Leslie Russell, July, 1843, to Deo. 31, 1843. 

Martin Thatcher, 1844-49. 

George S. Winslow, 1850-55. 

Benjamin G. Baldwin, 1856-58. 

Mark W. Spanlding, 1859-61. 

James F. Pierce, 1862-64. 

Moses Rich, 1865-67. 

John Miller, 1868-70. 

Tiras H. Ferris, 1871-76. 

Murray N. Ralph, 1877-79. 

Sheriffs. — Under the first constitution the sheriffs were 
appointed annually by the council of appointment, and no 
person could serve more than four successive years. Under 

the second constitution they were elected for terms of three 
years, and were ineligible for the next succeeding term, and 
that disability still continues. Under the Dutch, the sheriff 
was termed the School Fiscal. 

1802 - 
1803-6 - 

-Elisha Tibbetts. 
-Thomas J. Davies. 
-John Boyd. 
-Thomas J. Davies. 
-Joseph York. 
-David C. Judson. 
-Levi Lockwood. 
-Minet Jenison. 
-Lemuel Buck. 
-Jonathan Hoyt. 
■Luman Moody. 
■Benjamin Squire. 

1844-46— Noble S. Elderkin. 
1847-49— Josiah Waid. 
1850-52— Henry Barber. 
1853-55— Reuben Nott. 
1856-58— Paine Converse. 
1859-61— Shubael R. Gurley. 
1862-64 — Lorenzo Chamberlain. 
1865-67— Edward J. Chapin. 
1868-70— William E. Tanner. 
1871-73— Wm. H. Walling. 
1874-76— Edward J. Chapin. 
1877-79— Orson 0. Wheeler. 

County Treasurers. — Appointed by board of supervisors 
until the adoption of present constitution ; since then elected 
for terms of three years. 

Owing to the loss of the early records of the board of 
supervisors, we cannot obtain a complete list of the county 
treasurers. The list begins with 

1816-20— John Tibbitts. 
1821-33— John Fine. 
1833-54 — John Leslie Russell. 

1855-58— Barzillai Hodskin. 
1859-75— Harvey N. Redway. 
1876-78— Milton D. Packard. 

Coroners. — Seth Ranney, William Shaw, Feb. 29, 1804; S. Ranney, 
Wm. Staples, Nicholas Reynolds, March 5, 1805; John Lyon, Wil- 
liam Staples, Nicholas Reynolds, April 8, 1808 ; Benjamin Willard, 
Kelsey J. Thurber, John Boyd, Stephen Langworthy, March 6, 1811; 
Wm. S. Guest, Wm. Perry, Winslow Whitcomb, Clement Tattle, June 
15, 1812; Joshua Dewey, Stephen Slawsou, Caleb Hough, Jr., March 
3, 1813 ; John Herrick, Enoch Story, John Pierce, Levi Green, John 
Williams, Dyer Burnham, Kirtland Griffin, Jeremiah Matherson, 
March 2, 1814; J. Dewey, C. Hough, B. Willard, J. Boyd, K. J. 
Thurber, April 15, 1815; J. Dewey, C. Hough, B. Willard, J. Boyd, 
K. J. Thurber, March 16, 1816; Reuben Atwater, N. F. Winslow, 

C. Hough, Elijah Baker, John Lyttle, Ira Ransom, K. J. Thurber, 
March 16, 1818; R. Atwater, Elijah Baker, Ira Ransom, Joseph 
York, John Lyttle, Enos C. Eastman, April 8, 1819; R. Atwater, E. 
Baker, J. Lytle, J. York, E. C. Eastman, Wm. S. Guest, Charles 
Whalan, Hazen Rolf, and Jabez Willes, 1820; Wm. S. Guest, Peter 
Pollard, Ira Collins, Thomas Bingham, Hazen Rolf, Zoraster Culver 
Caleb Hough, Henry C. Green, Thomas D. Clin, Nathaniel Ives, Feb. 
28, 1821. In 1822 the same, with the addition of Thomas Hill. [Wo 
are not able to procure six years.] John E. Perkins, Henry Foot, 
Samuel C. Barter, S. Pratt, 1828 ; Darius Clark, Wm. S. Paddock, 
Justus Pickit, Michael S. Daniels, 1831; Abijah Rowley, Allen 
McLeod, Jr., Gideon Sprague, Almond Z. Madison, 1834; S. Pratt, 

D. Clark, John Stone, Rudolphus Searle, 1837; D. Clark, Joseph H. 
Ripley, Royal Vilas, Smith Low, 1840; D. Clark, Charles N. L. 
Sprague, Luther Lamphear, R.Vilas, 1843; D. Clark, Henry D. 
Laughlin, Wm. S. Paddock, Hemau W. Tucker, 1846; Wm. S. Pad- 
dock, re-elected, 1847; H. D. Laughlin, Cyrus Abernethy, 1849; L. 
Lamphear, Wm. S. Paddock, 1851 ; T. 0. Benjamin, Alexander B. 
Gregor, John C. Preston, 1852. [We are unable to give the list for 
1863-55.] B.F.Sherman, 1856-61; Ephraim Whitney, 1867; Dr. 

S. C. Wait and Wilson, 1858-61; F. P. Sprague, 1862; John 

R. Furniss, Samuel C. Wait, 1863-64; Ephraim Whitney, 1865-68; 
John R. Furniss, Dr. Swan, 1866; Dr. C. B. Fisher, 1867-76; David 
McFalls, Dr. Robert Morris, 1869; Ephraim Whitney, 1871-74; 
David McFalls, John R. Furniss, 1872-75 ; Blisha Bridges, 1874; C. 
C. Bartholomew, Ephraim Whitney, 1877; D. McFalls, 1878. 

Deputy Superintendents of Schools, appointed by the 
supervisors.— Sylvester Ford, 1841, for the section east of 
Lisbon, Canton, and Russell, and Jos. Hopkins for these 
and all the towns west. In 1843, George S. Winslow, for 
the whole county. ]\Ir. Winslow resigned his office in 1844, 



and Charles Rich was appointed to the western, and Fred- 
erick P. Sprague to the eastern sections. In 1845, Sprague 
resigned, and Mr. Rich was appointed for the whole county 
for the ensuing year. In 1846, Luke Carton was appointed, 
and held the office till it was abolished. 

In 1857 the office was restored, under the name of 
" School Commissioner." and made elective, with terms of 
three years. Since that date the succession has been as 
follows : 

1st Assembly District. 2d District. 3d District, 

1857... .....Allen Wight, M. W. Spaulding, Tiras H. Ferris. 

1858-59... " " C. C. Church, 

1860 " " " " W. W. Bloss. 

1861-62. ..T. H. Laughlin, " " " " 

1863 " " Clark Baker, " " 

1864-66... " " " " B. C. Whitney. 

1867-69... " " " " " " 

1870-71... " '■ W. G. Brown, " " 

1872 " " A. Barton Hepburn, " " 

1873-75.. .D. S. Giffin, " " " 

1876-78. ..Erwin S. Barnes, Albert L. Cole, L. L. Goodale. 

Loan Commissioners, appointed by the governor : 

1810-17, Russell Atwater and Alexander Richards ; 1818-20, Alex- 
ander Richards and Roswell Hopkins ; 1821-40, Joseph W. Smith, 
Smith Stilwell, Jason Fenton, Alvin C. Low. U. S. Deposit Fund : 
18S7-39, Joseph Ames (2d), Geo. Ranney ; 1840-42, John L. Barnes, 
Wm. Blake; 1843-44, John Horton, Harlow Godard; 1845-48, Elihu 
Phelps, Z. N. Ellis; 1849-60, M. P. Jackson, Isaac R. Hopkins. Con- 
solidated Funds: 1851-53, M. P. Jackson, Isaac R. Hopkins; 1853- 
55, H. M. Childs and F. P. Sprague; 1855-57, Stillman Foote and 
Jason Brush; 1857-59, Stillman Foote and Thomas H. Conkey; 
1860, T. H. Conkey, S. N. Sherman; 1861-64, Conkey and H. W. 
Hale; 1856-67, H. W. Hale and Jason Brush; 1867-69, G. C. 
Packard; 1873-77, Geo. S. Wright, Truman Barnes. 

Excise Commissioners, appointed by the governor, under 
the act of 1857, regulating the sale of spirituous liquors : 

1857-60, Geo. Hurlbut, Chas. H. Allen, Stephen Vanduzee; 1861, 
H. J. Cook vice Allen; 1862, Darius Clark vice Cook; 1863, Smith 
Stilwell vice Hurlbut; 1865, Dan. H. Davis vice Vanduzee; 1867, 
Rufus K. Jackson vice Clark; 1868-70, Charles Richardson vice 

The office was abolished in 1870, and town commissioners 
are elected. 



The Bar— The Medical Profession— Medical Societies— The Clergy 
— The Professors — The Press. 


The bar of St. Lawrence County has numbered in its 
roll of attorneys names renowned in the annals of the State 
and nation, not only in the practice of one of the most hon- 
orable of professions, but on the bench and in the halls of 
legislation. Its members, too, have been distinguished 
not only in the civic arena, but they have gained imperish- 
able honors on the gory fields of war. In the second war 
of American Independence, and in the terrible carnage of 
the great Rebellion, St. Lawrence had her legal sons who 
bore her honor untarnished on many a blood-stained field. 

The following list of attorneys, resident in the county at 
the date of their' admission to practice in the courts, has 

been compiled from the records of the courts of the county, 
where they have appeared more or less frequently in the 
conduct of cases before those tribunals. This list has also 
been revised by one of the oldest practicing attorneys in 
the county, and the dates given are those of the admission 
of the respective attorneys, or their first appearance before 
the court, as appears by the records, as near as could be 
ascertained. We trust it is substantially free from errors. 

1802. Matthew Perkins, the first lawyer, was admitted 
to the practice of his profession in St. Lawrence County, at 
the first term of the court of common pleas, held June 5, 
1802, Judge Nathan Ford presiding, and which also was the 
first court held in the county. Mr. Perkins was also the 
first surrogate of the county, and died in 1808. The same 
year (1802), in November, Benjamin Skinner, Jr., was ad- 
mitted. He died in 1873. 

1803. Andrew McCoUum, Morris L. Miller. 

1805. Adriel Peabody. 

1806. Samuel Chipman. 

1807. J. P. Warford. 

1808. Samuel Warford. 

1809. W. W. Bowen, Liberty Knowles (see biography 
in history of Potsdam), Matthew Myers. (Fourteen of the 
above-named attorneys swore allegiance to the State of New 
York, "as a free and independent sovereignty," Jan. 11, 

1810. George Boyd, George C. Conant, Lewis M. Ogden, 
Samuel Livermore, Palmer Cleveland, Gouverneur Ogden, 
Wm. S. RadolifF, R. M. Popham, Wm. D. Ford, John 
Scott (first resident district attorney in the county, 1818). 

1811. Henry C. Martindale, Louis Hasbrouck (first 
county clerk), Samuel Rockwell. 

1815. Bishop Perkins (see biography in history of 

1816. Horace Allen (see biography in history of Pots- 
dam), H. Wm. Channing. 

1817. John Fine (see biography at close of this list), 
Wm. H. Vining, John Cook, Alfred Lathrop, Theo. M. 
Atwater, Alexander Richards, Jr. 

1819. Silas Wright, Jr. (see biography in history of 

1821. L. C. Hubbell, Jas. Edwards, M. M. Terry, Aaron 
Hackley, Jr., Halsey Townsend. 

1822. Jacob A. Van den Heuvel, Jacob J. Ford, A. C. 

1823. George Redington (see biography in history of 

1824. Ransom H. Gillett. 

1825. E. Fowler, J. G. Hopkins, Edmund A. Graham. 
i827. John W. Grant. 

1828. Silas Baldwin, Jr. (see biography in history of 
Canton), Thomas Dewey, Charles E. Beardsley. 

1829. Edwin Dodge, Jeremiah Bailey. 

1830. Preston King (see biography in history of Og- 
densburg), John Leslie Russell (sec biography in history 
of Canton), Cephas L. Rockwood. 

1831. James Redington (see biography in history of 
Waddington), Benjamin G. Baldwin. 

1832. Julius C. Abel, A. Hayward, Charles G. Myers, 
N. F. Hoyer, Samuel H. Piatt, Calvin T. Hulburd. 



1833. Elam Rust, David M. Chapin, Levi Smith, Gr. W. 

1837. A. B. James, Baron S. Doty, S. B. Seeley. 

1838. Stephen G. Dodge, R. W. Judson (see history of 
Ogdensburg, and military history), Edward Elderkin, Henry 
L. Knowles, Wm. A. Dart (see biography in history of 
Potsdam), Thomas V. Russell, Britten A. Hill. 

1840. James D. McLaren, Wm. C. Brown, Cyrus W. 
Baldwin, Charles Anthony, Simeon Smith. 

1841. Joseph M. Doty, Stillman Foote (see biography in 
history of Ogdensburg). 

1843. Wm. C. Cooke, H. G. Foote. 

1844. W. L. Knowles. 

1845. Jos. R. Flanders, C. B. Wright, Amos Reed, 
Wm. B. Hickok. 

1846. Cornelius A. Parker, Charles A. Eldredge. 

1849. W. T. Barker, D. S. Pride, Edwin Clarke, Ed- 
ward Crary, W. H. Wallace. 

1850. J. MoNaugbton, Chas. T. Pooler, C. L King, 
B. H. Vary, Wm. C. Chipman, C. R. McClelland, Geo. 

1851. E. E. Cooley, W. B. Goodrich, W. H. Andrews, 
Samuel B. Gordon, Jno. Powell, Jr., M. Field, C. 0. Tap- 
pan (see biography in history of Potsdam). 

1852. W. H. Sawyer (see biography in history of Can- 
ton), Chas. Rich, C. C. Montgomery. 

1853. Aikens Foster, G. F. Havens. 

1854. D. Magone, Jr., J. C. Spencer. 

1855. Edwin Coan, Nathan Crary. 

1856. Edw. H. Neary (see biography in history of 
Gouverneur), 0. F. Partridge, James F. Pierce (see biog- 
raphy in history of Madrid), J. R. Brinckerhoff, John 
Doud, G. P. Chapin. 

1857. E. H. Nickerson. 

1858. Chas. B. Westbrook, Samuel S. Edick, E. R. 
Page, F. A. Bacon. 

1860. Mark White, Richmond Bicknell, N. Wells, C. 
A. Boynton, W. R. Chamberlain, H. F. Grain, Cyrus G. 

1861. H. D. Ellsworth, A. X. Parker (see biography 
in history of Potsdam), Alvin M. Lamb, S. B. M. Beck- 
with, John Gunning, Jr., Dan. S. Giffin, L. Hasbrouck, Jr., 
Nathaniel P. Hays, John Magone, Thomas McGivern, 
Paraclete Sheldon, James Nowlan. 

1862. Leslie W. Russell (see biography in history of 
Canton), R. L. Wilcox, R. B. Lowry, Geo. G. Simons, S. 
H. Palmer, Edwin C. James, Lucius L. Bridges, T. H. 

1863. A. E. Smith, John F. Havens. 

1864. J. A. Vance. 

1866. Watson J. Ferry, Horace Russell. 

1867. Geo. Z. Erwin, Geo. B. Stacy, Geo. A. Kingston, 
J. G. Mclntyre. 

1868. J. Y. Chapin, John F. Bugbee, D. McCurdy. 

1869. L. C. Lang, Heber Sykes, Luther E. Wadleigh 
(see biography in history of Potsdam), J. B. Preston, Chas. 
N. Bixby. 

1870. John Miller (see biography in history of Canton), 
John S. Miller, Wm. G. Brown, A. Z. Squii-e, Thomas 
Spratt, L. M. Soper, W. S. Lansing, A. E. Kilby, C. E. 

Chamberlain, L. K. Soper, L. Z. Remington, Silas W. Wil- 
son, D. M. Robertson, Jno. W. Stone, E. M. Holbrook. 

1871. V. P. Abbott (see biography in history of Canton) 
D. A. Johnson (see biography in history of Gouverneur). 

1872. A. Barton Hepburn. 

1874. Charles Anstead, E. B. White, Worth Chamber- 
lain, H. J. Moore, Charles G. Idler, Garrett S. Conger. 

1875. H. W. Day, Theo. H. Swift, C. E. Sanford, T. N. 
Murphy, J. M. Kellogg, F. J. M. Daly. 

1876. W. M. Hawkins, A. B. Shepard, J. C. Keeler. 

1877. Geo. Fowler, W. A. Poste, 0. H. Feathers. 


Gouverneur. — Charles Anthony, D. A. Johnson, Geo. 
Fowler, Abel Godard, C. A. Parker, C. Arthur Parker, G. 
S. Conger, E. H. Neary, Wm. H. Andrews, J. B. Preston, 
V. P. Abbott. 

ffermon.—K B. White, H. W. Day, Wm. G. Brown. 

Canton. — Silas Baldwin, Wm. C. Cooke, Leslie W. Rus- 
sell, W. H. Sawyer, D. M. Robertson, Thomas V. Russell, 
H. D. Ellsworth, Jno. F. Bugbee, John Miller, Worth 
Chamberlain, C. E. Chamberlain, A. Z. Squires, W. A. 
Poste, 0. H. Feathers. 

Potsdam. — Chas. 0. Tappan, H. L. Knowles, Wm. A. 
Dart, Geo. Z. Erwin, A. X. Parker, H. L. Knowles, W. 
H. Wallace, Edward Crary, Jno. G. Mclntyre, John A. 
Vance, L. E. Wadleigh, W. H. Hawkins, W. H. Faulkner, 
T. H. Swift, C. E. Sanford. 

Ogdensburg. — Stillman Foote, Chas. G. Myers, R. W. 
Judson, A. B. James, E. C. James, D. Magone, D. M. 
Chapin, J. Y. Chapin, L. K. Soper, L. M. Soper, J. M. 
Kellogg, E. M. Holbrook, J. McNaughton, R. E. Water- 
man, Geo. B. Shepard, A. B. Shepard, Geo. Morris, Geo. 
Morris, Jr., Louis Hasbrouck, Louis Hasbrouck, Jr., C. G. 
Idler, A. E. Smith, R. B. Lowry, Frank Sherman, Thomas 
Spratt, B. H. Vary, J. W. Stone, N. Wells, Joseph Ray, 
D. McCurdy, C. G. Egert, 0. F. Partridge, C. A. Burton, 
Stephen G. Dodge, W. J. Averill, C. R. Westbrook. 

Heuveltoii. — D. S. Griffin. 

Norfolk.— 3. R. Brinckerhoff. 

Norwood. — C. N. Bixby, Sylvester Judd, T. M. Murphy. 

Madrid.~G. R. McClelland, Geo. G. Simons. 

Waddington. — C. C. Montgomery, James Redington. 

Brasher. — C. T. Hulburd, Lewis C. Lang. 

North Lawrence. — N. P. Hoyer. 

Nicholville. — Geo. B, Stacy. 

Colton. — A. B. Hepburn, Charles Anstead, M. D. Beck- 
with, Aikens Foster. 

Fine. — George A. Kingston. 


was organized in May, 1876, for the chief objects of organ- 
izing the bar, and aiding and assisting in proper legislation, 
and to obtain and maintain a library for the use of the 
bench and bar of the county. It is auxiliary to the State 
bar association, and is in furtherance of the same objects. 
Its annual meetings are held in May, at Canton, and stated 
meetings are also held at each term of the supreme and 
county courts. 

The officers of the present are the same as at the first 



organization of the association, viz. : Hon. Chas. 0. Tappan, 
president ; Edwin M. Holbrook, corresponding secretary ; 
Delos McCurdy, secretary; V. P. Abbott, treasurer. Be- 
sides these, is a list of vice-presidents and the usual com- 

The association has a fair library, and is constantly adding 
new works, valuable and necessary for its use. It is kept 
in the district attorney's office in the court-house, and con- 
tains thirteen legal text-books, fourteen volumes digests, 
the session laws of the State, from 1802 to date, complete, 
with a few exceptions, eleven volumes of U. S. laws, three 
hundred and twenty-four volumes of reports, and other 
miscellaneous volumes. 

There are, doubtless, many reminiscences of the early bar 
which would be entertaining to recount would space permit, 
but we are /oj-eclosed, to use a legal phrase, and cannot 
even enter a demurrer or take an exception to the ruling. 
However, we insert a sentence of one of the early lawyers 
named above, whose duties were more frequently those of 
the magistrate than of the advocate. 

A culprit had been brought before him for some infrac- 
tion of the law, and having been tried, the court pronounced 
the judgment of banishment " from the face of God's 
earth to Canada !" The record does not state whether the 
sentence was executed or not. 

Another of the early lawyers went, in after-years, to 
Michigan, and located in St. Joseph county, and became a 
leading magistrate at the county-seat. He was a dry joker, 
and one day, in trying a case before a brother magistrate in 
an adjoining town, objected to the jurisdiction of the court. 
and moved a dismissal of the case. The opposing counsel 
could not see that the point was well taken, as the towns 
were adjoining ones, and, by the Michigan laws, the juris- 
diction of justices extended into such situated towns. But 
the objector insisted upon his point, and proceeded to de- 
monstrate that the two towns did not join. Taking up a 
couple of books which lay on the table, he placed them 
parallel to each, about six inches apart, and said to the 
court, who, by the way, had a very exalted opinion of his 
brother magistrate's legal acumen, " Now, 'squire, when 
these two towns were originally laid out they did join, but 
a few years ago, you know, the highway commissioners of 
the towns laid out a road on the town-line the whole six 
miles, and now (pointing to the books) you see they don't 
join by four rods.'" The justice scratched his head, re- 
adjusted his spectacles, and, before the attorney for the prose- 
cution recovered from his laughter at what he considered a 
good joke, the court decided he had no jurisdiction, and 
nonsuited the plaintifiF. 

We give in this connection the biography of one of the 
most eminent, so far as legal ability was concerned, of the 
early members of the bar, and who ranked in his long years 
of practice with the foremost attorneys of his district. We 
allude to Hon. John Fine, of Ogdensburg, now deceased. 

" He was born in New York, August 26, 1794, and was 
prepared for college by Andrew Smith, a Scotchman, a well- 
known and severe teacher. He entered Columbia college 
in 1805, and graduated in 1809, at the age of fifteen, re- 
ceiving the second honor, the English salutatory, Among 
his college classmates were Bishops B. T. Onderdopk aad J. 

Kemper, Rev. Dr. W. B. Wyatt, Revs. C. R. Duffee and J. 
Brady; Drs. J. W. Francis and E. N. Bibby, and the 
Hon. Murray Hoffman. Mr. Fine studied law four years 
with P. W. Radclift', one year with Gr. W. Strong, and 
attended a course of law lectures of one year under Judges 
Reeve and Gould, at Litchfield, Conn. He removed to St. 
Lawrence County in 1815, and formed a law partnership 
with Louis Hasbrouck, which continued until the death of 
the latter in 1834. In 1824 he was appointed first judge 
of the county, and was continued in this office by reap- 
pointment till March, 1839. In the fall of 1838 he was 
elected to Congress, and in the latter of the two years was 
on the committee on foreign affairs. In 1844 he was reap- 
pointed first judge, and held that office until the adoption 
of the new constitution in 1847. During his service of 
over eighteen years on the bench, three only of his de- 
cisions were reversed. In 1848 he was elected to the State 
senate and served one term, during which period he in- 
troduced and aided in carrying into a law the bill to punish 
criminally the seduction of females, and also the bill to 
protect the property of married women. The latter lias 
made a great change in the common law, and raises the 
female sex from a menial and dependent condition, as 
regards the control of their property, to an equality with 
man. The refinements of civilized society, and the spirit 
of the Christian religion, justify the law which has been 
incorporated into our code, and, from the favor with which 
it has been received by the public, there is a probability it 
will never be repealed. Judge Fine received the degree of 
Master of Arts from Columbia college, in 1812, and that of 
Doctor of Laws, from Hamilton college, in 1850. In 1847 
and 1849 he was nominated for judge of the supreme court, 
but on each occasion was unsuccessful, the venerable Daniel 
Cady, of Johnstown, being elected. From 1821 to 1833 
he held the office of county treasurer, and upon resigning, 
the board of supervisors passed resolutions expressive of 
their confidence in his integrity and ability. In 1852 he 
published a volume of lectures on law, for the use of his 
sons, of which Judge Cady has said, ' I do not believe 
there is another work in the English language which con- 
tains so much legal information in so few words. All I read 
and hear of the lectures strengthens my convictions that 
they should be in the hands of every student who wishes to 
■ acquire in the shortest time a knowledge of the laws of his 
country.' The high station and distinguished attainments 
of the one by whom this opinion was given confer great 
value upon it. In the various benevolent movements of 
the day, and especially in the founding and support of the 
county Bible society. Judge Fine has been foremost, and he 
will long be regarded as the efficient supporter of this and 
other benevolent societies, as a distinguished lawyer, an 
able jurist, and as one who in every respect has adorned 
and elevated the society in which he has lived.''* 


The science of medicine enlists the best powers and 
deepest thought of its votaries. Ministering to the " thou- 
sand shocks which flesh is heir to," whether of the body or 

' Rouglt's IJistor^ of Frapklir) ii^d St. Lawrence Counties, 



of " a mind diseased," a skillful physician and surgeon is 
one who loves his profession, not for what personal gain 
there may he in its prosecution, hut for the ever-expanding 
thought, the ever-increasing knowledge of the mysterious 
mechanism by which the human being is made to live, and 
the consequent power he acquires to counteract and eradi- 
cate disease. As a body the St. Lawrence medical pro- 
fession stands second to none of its class in the interior 
of the State. 


was organized October 14, 1807, on the passage of the law 
authorizing the formation of medical societies in the State. 
At the first meeting Joseph W. Smith was chosen presi- 
dent ; I. W. Pier, vice-president, W. Noble, secretary ; B. 
Holmes, treasurer; John Seeley, Powell Davis, and B. 
Holmes, censors. A seal, having for its device a lancet 
within the words "St. Lawrence Medical Society," was 
adopted July, 1811. 

The society held its annual meetings for the most part of 
the time to the year 185G, at which many able papers on 
the diagnosis and treatment of disease have been read by 
its members, which have included all, or nearly so, of the 
regular school, or allopathic, as commonly called, physi- 
cians who have been residents of the county. 

The presidents of the society have been as follows : 
Joseph W. Smith, 1807 to 1814, 1818-19, 1828-29, 
and 1833; Robert McChesney, 1815 to 1817, 1821, and 
1841; Gideon Sprague, 1820, 1835, and 1843; B. Holmes, 
1825 ; E. Baker, 1826-27, 1832, 1845, and 1848 ; Francis 
Parker, 1840; S. H. McChesney, 1830-31,1834, 1844, 
and 1852 ; Socrates N. Sherman, 1836, 1842, and 1847 ; 
J. A. Mott, 1837 ; S. Ford, 1838 ; W. S. Paddock, 1839 ; 
M. S. Parker, 1864-65; Louis Stowers, 1865-66; Z. B. 
Bridges, 1866-67 ; C. C. Bates, 1867-68 ; B. P. Sherman, 
1868-69; S. L. Parmelee, 1869-70; Jesse Reynolds, 
1870-71 ; Robert Morris, 1871-72 ; D. McFalls, 1872-73; 
A. R. Gregor, 1873-74 ; E. H. Bridges, 1874-75 ; H. A. 
Roland, 1875-76 ; L. E. Felton, 1876-77. 

Some time about 1856 the society suspended its workings, 
and the records previous to that time have been lost, and 
what we have produced of the history previous to 1852 
has been taken from Dr. Hough's History of St. Lawrence 
and Franklin Counties. On January 19, 1864, several of 
the members of the old society met and reorganized it, 
electing the following board of officers : Dr. Martin S. 
Parker, president ; Dr. S. L. Parmelee, vice-president ; Dr. 
R. R. Sherman, secretary ; Dr. Jesse Reynolds, treasurer; 
Drs. N. L. Buck, F. P. Sprague, and H. B. Boland, censors. 
The present officers of the society are, Dr. C. C. Bar- 
tholomew, of Ogdensburg, president ; Dr. J. A. Wilbur, 
vice-president ; Dr. L. E. Felton, of Potsdam, secretary ; 
Dr. Fred. Geer, treasurer ; Drs. Robert Morris, of Ogdens- 
burg, E. H. Bridges, and J. Reynolds, censors ; Drs. Z. B. 
Bridges, S. L. Parmelee, and A. N. Thomson, delegates to 
the State medical society ; Drs. J. Reynolds, Z. B. Bridges, 
D. McFalls, C. C. Bartholomew, and Frederick Geer, dele- 
gates to the American medical association. 

The following list of physicians have been members of the 
society, the dates being those of their admission thereto : 

1807. Powell Davis, B. Holmes, Ira W. Pier, John 
Seeley, J. W. Smith. 

1808. Pierce Shepard. 

1809. Elijah Baker, John Spencer. 

1 811. Robert McChesney, Myron Orton, Daniel Brainerd. 

1812. Reuben Phillips, James A. Mott. 

1814. Philip Scott, Ira Smith, Gideon Sprague. 

1815. John Archibald. 

1816. F. W. Judson, W. S. Paddock, Royal Sikes, Silas 

1817. Wm. A. Canfield, John S. Carpenter. 

1820. Thomas Harrington, Solomon Sherwood. 

1821. Wm. Atwater, W. Hatch, John McChesney, Na- 
thaniel K. Olmstead, Francis Parker (see biography in 
history of Parishville), Jason Winslow. 

1822. Levi Crane, Rufus Newton, C. Skidmore, Alvah 

1823. J. W. Floyd (see biography in history of Norfolk), 
Ira Gibson, Caleb Pierce (see biography in history of 

1824. Darius Clark (see biography in history of Canton), 
Elkanah French. 

1826. Roswell Nash, T. Van Sickler, Lewis Stowers, 
Seymour Thatcher. 

1827. Reuben Ashley, Alanson Ray, Socrates N. Sher- 
man (see biography in history of Ogdensburg), R. -B. 

1828. G. W. Barker, Joseph Brayton, Sylvester Ford, 
Woolcott Griffin, H. D. Laughlin (see biography in 
history of Hopkinton), John S. Morgan, Hiram Murdock, 
C. H. Pierce, J. W. Ripley, L. Samburn, Lorenzo Sheldon, 
Albert Tyler. 

1829. Oliver Brewster, Wooster Carpenter, J. H. Chand- 
ler, John Marsh, James S. Munson, Orra Rice, Jr. 

1830. Giles F. Catlin, J. S. Cochran, D. L. Collamer, 
Hiram Goodrich, D. L. Shaw. 

1831. Alvan Ames, Jacob Clark. 

1832. R. M. Rigdon, Benj. P. Smith, J. A. Chambers. 

1833. H. 0. Chipman, Wood. 

1834. J. H. Ripley, E. Whiting. 

1835. Calvin S. Millington. 

1836. Wm. Bass, I. B. Crawe, H. Mazuzan, Charles 
Orvis, S. C. Wait. 

1838. D. 8. Olin, G. F. Cole. 

1840. Mason G. Sherman. 

1841. Ezra Parmelee. 

1842. R. Burns, J. H. Dunton, Geo. Green, Henry 
Hewitt (see biography in history of Potsdam), B. F. 
Sherman, C. A. J. Sprague, W. H. Sprague, William 

1843. M. L. Burnham, Thomas Dunton, 0. H. May- 
hew, T. R. Pangburn, A. B. Sherman. 

1844. A. Ames, J. S. Conkey, C. F. Ide, W. J. Manley. 

1845. B. F. Ames. 

1846. R. L. Clark. 

1847. W. F. Galloway, J. H. Grennell, Samuel Marsh. 

1848. D. A. Raymond. 

1852. R. Davidson, J. H. Hyer, G. R. Lowe, 0. F. 
Parker, J. C. Preston, Jesse Reynolds, F. P. Sprague, G 
S. Sutherland. 



1864 to 1866. Cornelius H. Buck, John Pierce, C. C. 
Bates, R. R. Sherman, Zina B. Bridges, Benj. M. Ames, 
H. A. Boland, Joseph H. Gibbons, S. L. Parmelee, James 
S. Gale, G. B. Seymour, A. R. Gregor, A. C. Taylor, J. 
H. Benton, W. H. Cruikshank, Hiram D. Smith, Charles 
N. Hewitt, Thos. Murdock, Ira H. Darling, S. Holman, 
N. L. Buck, A. H. Thompson, E. Whitney, M. S. Parker, 
0. G. Ross, 0. McFadden, J. A. Wilbur. 

1866. Stuart Chrichton, E. M. Curtis, E. A. Hutchins, 
J. H. Jackson, S. H. Rolfe, Robert Morris, F. A. Cutler. 

1867. C. B. Barber, E. H. Bridges, William P. Stone, 
G. W. Reynolds, D. McFalls, E. C. Walsh, Benjamin F. 

1869. T. A. Pease. 

1870. A. P. Grinnell, W. C. Wood, Isaac Drake, C. C. 

1871. L. E. Felton, C. M. Wilson. 

1873. R. I. O'Connell, James A. Phillips, W. H. Car- 
penter, Frederick Greer. 

1874. H. L. Stiles, James Garvin, E. J. Bowen, J. 
Morrison, D. R. Freeman. 

1875. A. R. Turner, A. B. Goodenough, G. H. Holmes, 
D. M. Seeley, Louis B. Chagnon, C. B. Hawley, S. H. 

1876. B. S. Manley, H. T. Hammond, L. B. Baker, 
Frank R. Sherman, Albert L. Morgan, 0. J. Hutchins. 

1877. F. A. Anderson. 

Besides these the following have practiced the profession 
of medicine in the county, principally in the early days of 
its settlement: 1800, Dr. Hosea Brooks; 1801, El'isha M. 
Barber; 1802, Allen Barber (drowned in 1806); 1805, 
William Noble, Richard Townsend (practiced only in emer- 
gentcases) ; 1806, Stephen Langworthy ; 1807, Daniel Camp- 
bell, Pliny Godard; 1811, Lemuel Winslow; 1820, John 
Bean; 1830, B. L. Beardsley, Elihu Gillis; 1828, John 
Inman ; 1843, J. Addison Brown ; 1846, Franklin B. Hough ; 
1850, D. McLaren; 1862, William Wilson; 1861, P. P. 
McMonagle; 1860, B. 0. Cook; dates unknown, Drs. Bow- 
man, Goss, Barrows, Slade, Blaokman, Joseph Boynton, 
Solomon P. Sherwood, and Derby; 1875 and at present, 
L. M. Giffin, Luther Hawkins, L. J. W. Miller, J. S. 
Howard, David F. Dayton, Dr. Hall. 


is composed of physicians of the old school practicing in 
that portion of the State, as indicated by the title of the 
society ; but members are admitted from any part of the 
State, provided they are at the time of application members 
of the county association where they reside. Physicians of 
the Dominion of Canada may also become members on 
presentation of a diploma of some regularly incorporated and 
organized medical school. Its annual meetings have been 
usually held in Malone, Franklin Co. 

The members of the association residing in St. Lawrence 
County are as follows ; 

Ogdenshurg. Zina B. Bridges, Elisha H. Bridges, C. 
C. Bartholomew, Frederick Gears, Robert Morris, Benjamin 
F. Sherman, Frank R. Sherman. 

Potsdam. Gideon C. Cole, David F. Dayton, L. E. 
Felton, John Pierce, Jesse Reynolds. 

Lawrencevilk. H. A. Boland, J. H. Jackson. 

Lisbon. W. H. Cruikshank. 

Stockholm. Isaac Drake, Thomas Dunton. 

Norfolk. Sylvester Ford, A. H. Thompson. 

Gouverneur. David McFalls. 

Heuvelton. Lewis Samburn. 

Norwood: J. A. Wilbur. 

The following are the officers for 1877 : President, Dr 
Robert Morris, Ogdensburg, N. Y. ; Vice-President, Dr, 
George B. Dunham, Plattsburg, N. Y. ; Secretary, Dr. Sid 
ney P. Bates, Malone, N. Y. ; Treasurer, Dr. Calvin Skin 
ner, Malone, N. Y. ; Committee of Intelligence, Dr. B. F 
Sherman, Ogdensburg, N. Y. ; Dr. Theodore Gay, Malone, 
N. Y. ; Dr. L. E. Felton ; Committee of Publication, Dr. 
Elisha H. Bridges, Ogdensburg, N. Y. ; Dr. Calvin Skinner, 
Malone, N. Y. ; Dr. Renno E. Hyde, Chazy, N. Y. ; Dr, 
Sidney P. Bates, Malone, N. Y. ; Committee of Arrange- 
ments, Dr. J. S. Phillips, Malone, N. Y. ; Dr. S. S. Went- 
worth, Malone, N. Y. ; Dr. A. M. Phelps, Chateaugay, N. 
Y. ; Microscopist, Dr. Elisha H. Bridges, Ogdensburg, 
N. Y. 


This society was organized Oct. 4, 1871, with the follow- 
ing officers: Dr. D. E. Southwick, of Ogdensburg, president; 
Dr. Ezra Parmelee, of Morley, vice-president ; Dr. H. D. 
Brown, of Potsdam, secretary; Dr. N. N. Child, of Ogdens- 
burg, treasurer ; Dr. E. R. Belding, of Malone, Sanford 
Hoag, of Canton, and J. M. Dow, of De Kalb, censors. A 
constitution and by-laws similar to those of the Albany 
Homoeopathic society were adopted. 

The presidents of the society from its organization to the 
present time have been as follows: 1871, D. E. Southwick; 
1872-73, E. Parmelee; 1874, E. R. Belding; 1875, J. M. 
Dow ; 1876, D. E. Southwick. 

The society has its annual meeting on the second Tuesday 
in June, and its semi-annual meeting the same day in De- 
cember, at which essays on the diagnosis and treatment of 
disease, on the principle of " similia similibus curantur," 
are delivered by the members. 

The president. Dr. Southwick, in his annual address in 
1872, gave the history of the rise and progress of homoe- 
opathy in St. Lawrence County, from which we learn that 
the first physician to practice medicine after the system of 
Hahnemann therein was Dr. Ezra Parmelee, an old-school 
physician up to 1856, when he began to practice homoeo- 
pathioally at Morley, where he still resides and practices. 
In 1857, Dr. Austin began the practice at Canton, and Dr. 
Southwick in Ogdensburg. In 1860, Dr. Johnson changed 
his practice in De Peyster from the old to the new school, 
and is now a practitioner in Morrison, Illinois. About the 
same time. Dr. Swan began at Riohville, and Dr. Willard 
at Potsdam. The latter was succeeded by Dr. Brown. E. 
R. Belding was a student of Dr. Willard, and located at 
Malone, Franklin, where he is still in practice. Dr. Austin 
died in Canton, but some time previous to his death sur- 
rendered his practice to Dr. Reno, who gave way to Dr. 
Fisher. Dr. Daygart and Dr. Hoag were also of Canton. 

Dr. George Dart succeeded Dr. Johnson in De Peyster 
in 1864, and located in De Kalb in 1870, and Dr. Fisher 



went to Gouverneur in 1870. Dr. N. N. Child located in 
Ogdensburg in 1863. 

The present officers of the society are as follows : 

President, Dr. Southwick ; Vice-President, George Dart ; 
Treasurer, N. N. Child ; Secretary, S. Hoag ; Censors, E. 
R. Belding, Charles W. Radway, H. D. Brown ; Delegate 
to American Institute of Homoeopathy, D. E. Southwick ; 
to State society, Sanford Hoag. 

The members of the society and the dates of their ad- 
mission are as follows : 

1871. E. Parmelee, D. E. Southwick, H. D. Brown, 
N. N. Child, E. R. Belding, S. Hoag, J. M. Dow, E. E. 
Fisher, George Dart. 

1874. W. C. Doy, Waddington ; G. E. Baldwin, Gouver- 
neur; E. C. Low, Plattshurg. 

1875. George W. Randall, Rensselaer Falls ; A. B. Cole, 
Hermon ; G. S. Farmer, Gouverneur. 

1877. C. W. Radway, Canton ; Jason Turner, Heuvel- 
ton, A. L. Greene, Stockholm. 

The clerical profession will be found noticed in connection 
with the history of the churches, and the instructors are 
enumerated in the history of colleges, academies, and schools 
in the general history of the county and the town histories. 


The first paper published in St. Lawrence County was 
the Palladium, by John C. Kipp and Timothy C. Strong, of 
Middlebury, Vt., who were furnished by David Parish and 
Daniel W. Church with money to purchase a press and 
erect a building for the purpose of printing a paper in 
1810. The enterprise was started in December of that 
year. The printers had a small quantity of type; Mr. 
Church built the office and sent for the press, while Mr. 
Parish furnished the money with which to begin business. 
Strong continued in the concern less than a year, when his 
partner took the office alone, and sold, in the fall of 1812, 
to John P. Sheldon. The first paper was printed on a sheet 
11 by 17 J inches, and had but two pages. Sheldon enlarged 
it to a folio, but difficulties being experienced in getting 
regular supplies of paper, many of the numbers were issued 
on a common foolscap sheet. It was printed on an old- 
fashioned wooden press, published weekly, and distributed 
through the county by a foot-post, an old Swiss about sixty 
years of age acting as carrier. Sheldon discontinued his 
paper about 1814. From several numbers of this paper 
before us, it is learned that it was Federal in politics, and 
denounced the war. For a time it had but three columns 
and two pages of 7 by 11 inches, exclusive of margin. 

David R. Strachan and Piatt B. Fairchild purchased a 
Ramage press of James Bogart, of the Geneva Gazette, 
and commenced in December, 1815, a weekly paper under 
the title of the St. Lawrence Gazette, a small folio sheet 
20 by 25 inches, fire columns to the page, at two dollars 
per annum. Fairchild subsequently withdrew, and the paper 
was continued by the remaining publisher until April 12, 
1826, when Dan Spafford and James C. Barter purchased 
the office, and continued the paper without change of name 
or size till December, 1829, when Spaffijrd became pub- 
lisher, and continued it till about the 1st of Jan. 1830. 
He then sold it to Preston King, who had also purchased 

the St. Laurence RepiibUcan, previously issued at Potsdam. 
The Gazette thus ceased to exist, and the press on which 
it had been printed was laid away, and finally destroyed 
in the great fire of 1839. It espoused the cause of Mr. 
Adams, after his election in 1824, and advocated his re- 
election in 1828. Its politics were changed to Republican 
on its union with the other paper. 

The Northern Light, an anti-Masonic paper, was begun 
at Ogdensburg, July 7, 1831 (20 by 26 inches), by W. B. 
Rogers, and in October, 1831, was assumed by A. Tyler 
and A. B. James, who published it about a year, when the 
latter became its editor. On the 10th of April, 1834, its 
name was changed to The Times, and at the end of the 
fourth volume it was enlarged to six columns, and its title 
changed to the Ogdensburg Times. In July, 1837, Dr. Tyler 
again became associated with Mr. James, and the name was 
again changed to the Times and Advertiser. In July, 
1838, Dr. Albert Tyler became its sole publisher, and con- 
tinued until March, 1844, when it was transferred to 
Foote & Seeley, and it became the Frontier Sentinel. It 
has continued till the present time under the following 
names : 

The Frontier Sentinel,\ie.gwa April 2, 1844, by Foote & 
Seeley (six columns folio), at one dollar per annum. Mr. 
Stephen B. Seeley, of the above firm, died Aug. 17, 1844, 
and the paper was thenceforth continued by Henry G. 
Foote. On the 8th of June, 1847, the name was changed 
to the Ogdensburg Sentinel, under which it continued to the 
1st of Oct., 1858, when it was discontinued. The subscrip- 
tion list was transferred to the liepidilican, and the press and 
most of the type eventually went into the Advance office. 
In 1847, when its name was changed, it was enlarged to 
eight columns. On the 27th of Nov., 1847, this paper was 
transferred to Stillman Foote, by whom it was continued, as 
before stated, until October, 1858. It was printed, subse- 
quent to 1847, on an Adams power press. 

The Laify Sentinel was the first attempt to establish a 
daily paper in St. Lawrence County. It was started April 
14, 1848, by Stillman Foote, at one cent per number, and 
continued until September 14 of the same year. Its pages 
were nearly square, and three columns in width. It was 
made up from the matter prepared for the weekly sheet, 
with a few advertisements. 

The St. Lawrence Bvdget, a very small advertising sheet, 
in the interests of the St. Lawrence Insurance Company, 
was issued from the press of the Sentinel, semi-monthly, 
for about two years, in 1850-51. 

The Meteorological Register was the title of a monthly 
quarto commenced January 1, 1839, by J. H. Coffin, then 
principal of the academy, and now of Fayette college, 
Easton, Pennsylvania. It was devoted to scientific in- 
quiries, and continued but four numbers. It was issued 
by one of the printing-offices in the village. This highly 
meritorious publication is believed not to have received the 
patronage which rendered its continuance practicable, 
although conducted with an ability very creditable to its 

The Ogdensburg Forum was commenced April 24, 1848, 
by A. Tyler, to support the Whig party and the interests 
of General Taylor. It was a. small-sized folio, in small 



type, and at first issued tri-weekly and weekly, at $1.50 and 
50 cents per annum. When first started it was issued in 
the quarto form, with four pages to the sheet, but at the 
end of six months the tri-weekly was discontinued, and 
after the first year the folio form was adopted. It was dis- 
continued in February, 1851. The ofiice from which this 
paper was issued had been supplied with new furniture 
complete, and was at first designed for a job oflSce only, 
and it was the first attempt to establish an ofiice of this 
kind in St. Lawrence County. After the paper was stopped 
it continued to do job work until 1852, when it was sold 
and removed to Gouverneur. 

The first attempt to establish a daily paper in St. Law- 
rence County of a character comparable with the daily press 
of the cities was made in March, 1852, by William N. 
Oswell, a former editor of the St. Lawrence Republican, 
assisted by Mr. Fayette Robinson in the editorial depart- 
ment. It was entitled the Daily Morning News, pro- 
fessed neutrality in politics, and was conducted with an 
ability and enterprise which entitled it to a liberal support. 
The presses, type, and furniture of this ofiice were new. 
In September, 1852, was commenced the issue, from the 
press of the Daily News, a large sheet, neutral in politics, 
and devoted to literary and general intelligence, by the 
name of the Weekly News, by William N. Oswell. The 
latter paper soon after was temporarily suspended, but again 
issued in a smaller sheet, and continued as a daily paper for 
a short time, and discontinued. 

The Ogdenshurg Daily Times, a second daily paper, was 
begun October 18, 1852, by William Yeaton and Warren 
Dow, and was printed at the Republican office. It proposed 
to act independent in politics, and the first number was a 
small folio, five columns to the page, and appeared to be 
edited with ability, but the publication was arrested by a 
disastrous fire after one or two issues. 

The St. Lawrence Republican was commenced in Pots- 
dam in the fall of 1826, or early in the following year, by 
William H. Lyman, on a super-royal press. It was after- 
wards published, in company with Jonathan Wallace, as a 
Republican paper, in opposition to the St. Lawrence Gazette, 
and was the first Democratic paper in the county. It was 
20 by 29 inches, weekly, and distributed by post. In the 
summer of 1827 it went into the hands of Mr. Wallace, 
and in the winter of 1828 Lyman became the proprietor. 
In 1827 it was removed to Canton, and printed awhile as 
the Canton Advertiser and St. Lawrence Republican. In 
1830, Preston King purchased it and took it to Ogdens- 
hurg. On the first day of January, 1830, he issued num- 
ber one of volume one of the St. Lawrence Republican, and 
continued its publication till January, 1833, when Samuel 
Hoard purchased it. Up to this time it was printed on a 
Ramage press, bought for f40 in New York city in 1826. 
This press had a stone bed, which, having broken, was re- 
placed with a wooden plank. In May, 1833, Mr. Hoard 
brought from Fort Covington, Franklin county, an iron 
Smith press, and enlarged the paper to 21 J by 32 inches. 
In 1834 he took into partnership F. D. Flanders, of 
Malone. In December, 1834, Matthew M. and John M. 
Tillotson became the proprietors. They published it two 
years, when the former withdrew, and it was continued by 

J. M. Tillotson till the fall of 1841. In April, 1839, the 
establishment was consumed by fire, but early in the sum- 
mer its publication was resumed, and the paper enlarged to 
23J by 36 inches, and with seven columns to the page, and 
printed on a Washington press manufactured by Hoe & Co., 
New York. In the fall of 1841, Franklin B. Hitchcock 
and Henry M. Smith purchased the office, and continued 
the publication of the paper .until July 16, 1848, when 
Hitchcock sold his interest to William N. Oswell, and went 
gold-seeking to California. Smith & Oswell published the 
paper until December 3, 1851, when Hitchcock returned 
and re-purchased his interest. Smith & Hitchcock con- 
ducted the business till March 17, 1852. Mr. Smith's 
health then failing, he sold his share to M. W. Tillotson, a 
former proprietor. July 10, 1849, the paper was enlarged 
to double-medium. Hitchcock &■ Tillotson continued the 
pubUcation till May 22, 1855, when John A. Haddock 
purchased one-third of the establishment. On the first of 
April, 1856, Mr. Haddock sold his third to I. G. Stil- 
well. On November 30, 1858, H. R. James and James 
W. Hopkins purchased the whole establishment, and in 
December, 1860, Mr. James became the sole proprietor. 

In 1856, Henry R. James, James W. Hopkins, and 
Charles R. Foster consolidated two amateur boys' printing 
establishments, and started a daily paper under the title of 
The Boys' Journal. A short time later they purchased a 
Guernsey press and started the Weekly Journal. In the 
summer of 1857 Foster sold his interest. James & Hop- 
kins continued the publication of both papers till they 
purchased the St. Lawrence Republican. The weekly was 
merged in the St. Lawrence Republican, and the " Boys' " 
dropped and " Daily" substituted in the title of the daily 
paper. This was the first successful daily newspaper ven- 
ture in Ogdensburg and the county. For fourteen years 
Mr. James continued the publication of both daily and 
weekly papers under their present titles, to wit, The Og- 
densburg Journal, daily, and St. Lawrence Republican and 
Journal, weekly. 

On the first of January, 1874, S. P. Remington and S. 
H. Palmer each purchased a one-third interest in the estab- ^ 
lishment. It has since been conducted by Messrs. James, 
Remington & Palmer. From the time the Republican 
came under the control of Mr. King till 1855 it was the 
organ of the Democratic party in St. Lawrence County. 
Upon the organization of the Republican party, in 1855, it 
espoused the Republican cause, and has since been a de- 
fender and exponent of that political faith. The St. Law^ 
rence Republican has twice been burned down, but has 
each time arisen from its ashes enlarged and improved, and 
with new vigor. One of these fires, as before stated, 
occurred in April, 1839, and the other in October, 1852. 
The appointments of the office have increased with the 
demands of the public, and its increase of subscribers has 
kept up with the increase of population in the county. 
The old Ramage press has given place to one Taylor cylin- 
der, one Hoe cylinder, one Adams book press, one Camp- 
bell cylinder, one Degner jobber, one Ruggles card press, 
and one Washington hand press, while the subscription list 
has risen from a few hundred to exactly 4512 copies. On 
Wednesday, the 14th day of November, 1877, it entered 



upon its 48th volume. It has names on its subscription 
books which were placed there upon the issue of the first 
number in 1 830. 

The Ogdensburg Advance and St. Latorence Weekly 
Democrat was 'started in Ogdensburg, in March, 1861, by 
James W. Hopkins. It was called the Advance, and there 
were a daily and a weekly. In December, 1862, it passed 
into the hands of the Democracy, at which time Mr. 
O'Brien, of the St. Lawrence Democrat, published at 
Canton, formed a partnership with Amos S. Partridge, 
when the Advance and Democrat were united and pub- 
lished by O'Brien & Partridge. The name of the daily 
was continued, but that of the weekly was changed into the 
St. Lawrence Weekly Democrat. May 31, 1863, Mr. 
O'Brien retired and was succeeded by E. M. Holbrook, 
and the paper was published by Holbrook & Partridge 
until October 24, 1864, when it passed under the control 
of Ranson Skeels, who discontinued the daily and reduced 
the size of the weekly. In April, 1867, the office was pur- 
chased by Charles J. Hynes, who soon after refurnished it, 
put in new presses and type, enlarged the paper, and in- 
creased its circulation. Mr. Hynes owned the paper till 
May 23, 1877, when it was purchased by Messrs. D. T. 
Elmer & G. F. Darrow, the present proprietors. The form 
of the publication has been changed to an eight-page paper, 
and is one of the most complete county papers in the State. 
In politics it is unfalteringly Democratic, and in spite of the 
discouragements of strong adverse political sentiments in 
the section, it has grown to be a power in northern New 
York. It is the only Democratic paper published in the 
county, and has an extensive circulation. 


Tlie Potsdam Gazette was begun January 13, 1816 
(neutral in politics), by Frederick Powell, 18 by 22 inches, 
from a screw press made by J. Ouram, in Philadelphia, 
and bought in New York for 8150. It was discontinued 
in April, 1823. It was issued weekly, and contained four 
columns to the page. Zena Clark was connected with it a 
few months. In January, 1824, Mr. Powell commenced 
issuing from the same press a neutral paper, 20 by 24 
inches, four columns folio, entitled the Potsdam American, 
which was afterwards published by Powell & Redington, 
and discontinued in April, 1829. In May, 1829, Elias 
Williams issued from this press, and of the same size as 
the last, an anti-Masonic weekly, entitled The Herald, but 
which continued only till August of the same year. In 
April, 1830, William Hughes printed on the same press an 
anti-Masonic weekly, called the Patriot. It was 20 by 26 
inches, five columns to the page, and was stopped early in 
1831, when the press was removed to Ogdensburg by W. 
B. Rogers, and used in publishing the Northern Light. 
This was afterwards sold to Judge Buell, of Brookville, for 
$25, and used for job work, and its place supplied in 1834 
by an iron No. 3 Smith press. 

On the 11th of April, 1844, Mr. Boynton commenced 
issuing The Enquirer and Tariff Advocate, a campaicn 
paper devoted to the Whig party, and continued only till 
the November following. It was a small folio, terms fifty 
cents, and issued from the same press as the Cabinet. 

In consequence of this the Cabinet became unpopular with 
the Democratic party, and it was removed at the end of the 
second year to Potsdam, and continued weekly, on the same 
plan as before, one year, when it was changed to folio. The 
literary matter of this folio was issued on a semi-monthly 
octavo, in covers, double columns, with title and index, 
one year, under the name of The Repository, which was 
commenced July 20, 1846. At the end of the fourth vol- 
ume the Cabinet was sold to William L. Knowles, and 
thenceforth issued under the name of The St. Lawrence 
Mercury. Mr. Knowles continued its publication two 
years, when he sold to William H. Wallace, who continued 
to publish it about two years longer under the same name, 
when he sold, in June, 1851, the establishment to H. C. 
Pay, who changed the name to The St. Lawrence Journal, 
and continued its issue till July, 1852, when it was united 
with The Potsdam Courier. It professed to be neutral 
in politics. 

The Potsdam Courier was commenced by Vernon Har- 
rington, in fall of 1851, and continued till July, 1852, 
when it was combined with the Journal. It was issued 
from the same press which had been previously used at 
Grouverneur. It was neutral in politics. The Potsdam 
Courier and Journal, formed in July, 1852, by the union 
of the Courier and Journal, and published by Harrington 
& Fay, was the only paper published in Potsdam in 1852. 
It professed to be neutral in politics. Terms, one dollar 
per year. In 1853, H. C. Fay was the sole publisher. 

In 1858, or thereabouts, the Northern Freeman was be- 
gun by Doty & Greenleaf in Canton ; afterwards Greenleaf 
was succeeded by Baker and the paper removed to Potsdam, 
where it was published by 0. D. Baker. In 1861 the two 
papers then published in Potsdam united, under the joint 
name of the Courier and Freeman, and were published by 
Fay, Baker & Co. In 1862, Baker & Pay succeeded, and 
they in turn gave way, in 1865, to Elliott & Fay. Since 
1873 the paper has been published by Fay & Sweet to the 
present time. The Courier and Freeman is 28 by 43 
inches, 36 columns folio, Republican in politics, and is edited 
ably and spicily. Its weekly circulation is about 26C0 
copies. The office is equipped with four steam-power 
presses and material for a first-class job-office. It is the 
only paper in the third assembly district, and is well sus- 

The Philomathean, a literary magazine, conducted by 
the Philomathean Society of the St. Lawrence academy, 
was started in the spring of 1849, and continued several 
numbers. It was made of selected productions of the 
members of the society. It was proposed to be issued at 
the end of each academic term, or three numbers in a year, 
at a subscription price of 37 J cents. 


In 1827, while Mr. Wallace was publishing the St. 
Lawrence Republican, he issued a semi-monthly folio, 13 
by 20 inches, called the Day Star. It was a Universalist 
paper, and continued six months, when it was united with 
the Gospel Advocate, of Utica. While this paper was 
being published the press was removed to Canton. 

In July, 1832, C. C. Bill started a Whig paper in Can- 



ton, called the Northern Telegraph, and after printing it a 
time sold liis interest to Orlando Squires, -who commenced 
publishing a Democratic paper on the same press, which 
was called the Canton Democrat, who continued it a short 
time. A paper called the Luminary of the North was 
published here in July, 1834. The St. Lawrence Demo- 
crat, a Whig paper, owned by several individuals, and 
published by Edgar A. Barber, was commenced in Septem- 
ber, 1840, and its publication finally ceased in April, 1842. 
It was printed on a No. 3 Washington press. The North- 
ern Cabinet and Literary Repository, a neutral and literary 
paper, was begun at Canton Jan. 2, 1843, by Charles 
Boynton, in the quarto form, semi-monthly, at $1 per 
annum. The press and materials were the same as those 
which had been used in Mr. Barber's paper. Mr. Wilson 
commenced May 28, 1850, publishing at Columbia village 
(Madrid), with the press and type formerly used by the 
Theresa Chronicle, 

The Trne Democrat. It was a small-sized folio, and 
professed to support the Democratic party. At the end of 
ten months it was purchased by 0. L. Ray, and its politics 
changed from Democratic to neutral. At the end of a 
year its name was changed to the Columbian Independent, 
and continued a year longer under the same title, when it 
was removed to Canton, and the name again changed to the 
Canton Independent, under which -it was published for a 
time, and discontinued. The Canton Weekly Citizen was 
the title of a very small folio, attempted to be published 
at Canton, commenced with the 1st of January, 1852, by 
J. S. Sargent. It continued four weeks. 

The St. Lawrence Plaindealer was started as a Repub- 
lican campaign paper, in July, 1856, by William B. Good- 
rich, then a lawyer of Canton village, and S. P. Reming- 
ton, as the junior partner, placing against Mr. Goodrich's 
capital his practical knowledge of the business of printing. 
The material of an establishment that had some time be- 
fore failed, known as the St. Lawrence Democrat, was 
used, and the paper was printed on an exceedingly ancient 
hand-press. As the campaign demonstrated that the busi- 
ness could be made a reasonably paying one, an entire new 
outfit was purchased, and the paper was issued as a pei;,^ 
manent enterprise of Canton. At the end of a few 
months, Colonel Goodrich disposed of his interest in the 
concern to the junior of the firm, and the paper was con- 
tinued from that time till 1862, under the editorship and 
management of S. P. Remington. Having entered the 
military service, Mr. Remington at that time sold the office 
to J. Van Slyke, who owned and controlled it until repur- 
chased by the former proprietor in 1867, by whom it was 
conducted until Aug. 1, 1873, when it was purchased by 
Gilbert B. Manley, the present proprietor. Colonel Rem- 
ington soon after became connected with the Ogdensburg 
Journal and Republican, on whose editorial pages the 
traces of his vigorous pen are daily manifest. 

The material of the Plaindealer office was twice con- 
sumed by fire, — once on the 14th of Aug., 1869, and 
again on the 4th of Aug,, 1870. A clean sweep was made 
by each of these fires, nothing having survived them except 
one small job-press, so that all the office material was of 
necessity purchased new aftei' the fire of 1870. With com- 

mendable enterprise, after each of these fires, Colonel Rem- 
ington continued to issue the paper regularly, on small 
sheets at first, but in a few weeks restored to its usual size 
and fully on its feet again. 

The history of the Plaindealer is as full of stirring 
events as could have well occurred to a paper published in 
a country village. Colonel Goodrich, one of its founders, 
fell in command of the 60th Regiment early in the Rebel- 
lion, and now lies buried in Canton village, while Colonel 
Remington, dropping the pen to wield the sword, took an 
active part in the stirring events of that time. His record 
appears in the military history of the county. 

The Plaindealer, during the changes of proprietorship 
which have occurred, has always adhered to the Republican 
party, and without being accused of attaching undue im- 
portance to what has appeared in its columns, it is believed 
that its career justifies the claim that it has exercised a 
political influence which time has shown to have been 

The Plaindealer is a folio sheet of thirty-two columns, 
26 by 40 inches in size. Its office contains a newspaper- 
and a job-press, a " Eureka" steam-engine, and is well fur- 
nished with type and material. It has long maintained 
the reputation of turning out a superior quality and style 
of job-work. George T. Manley is foreman of the office. 

The Commercial Advertiser, a weekly Democratic news- 
paper, an eight-column folio, 40 by 26 inches, is published 
by Hall & Tracey, at Canton. It was first published by 
the present proprietors at Norwood, St. Lawrence Co., Nov. 
3, 1873, and removed to Canton in May, 1877, the first 
number being issued in the latter place on the- 31st of that 

The Advertiser office is equipped with two steam-presses 
and other machinery and material for a complete newspaper 
and job-office. 


The first successful attempt to start a newspaper in Gouv- 
erneur was made, in 1849, by W. M. Goodrich and M. F. 
Wilson, who procured a press from Carthage, and, on the 
19th of April, in that year, issued the first number of a 
small folio weekly sheet, which they named The Northern/ 
New Yorker. It was not a pecuniary success, and at the 
end of its first volume it passed into the hands of Nelson 
J. Bruett & Co., who slightly enlarged it ; but at the end 
of about three months it was reduced to less than its origi- 
nal size, and was finally discontinued in 1851. The St. 
Lawrence Advertiser, a very small sheet, was continued 
about five weeks longer, and the office was then moved to 

A paper called The Laborer was established here, in 
1852, by Martin Mitchell, of Fowler, the first number 
having been issued July 20. It was afterwards enlarged, 
and named The Free Press, and a Mr. Mason became con- 
cerned in its management. He was succeeded by H. 
Mitchell, and the name of the sheet was changed to Tlie 
St. Lawrence Free Press. Its affairs became involved, and 
about 1854, Mr. J. J. Eames, of Hammond, assumed con- 
trol, and attempted to place it on a sound basis. In this 
he was assisted by small subscriptions among the citizens to 
secure the continuance of the paper ; but all was to no pur- 



pose. Mr. Eames lost considerably in the enterprise, and 
the publication of the paper was abandoned. Gouverneur 
now had no newspaper until July, 1864, when Mr. F. E. 
Merritt, editor and proprietor of The Sandy Creeh Times, 
at Sandy Creek, Oswego Co., removed that paper to this 
place, and commenced its issue here as The Gouverneur 
Times. Its publication in Gouverneur has now continued 
for more than thirteen years under the same editor and 

The New Yorh Recorder was commenced at Gouverneur, 
in 1866, by Miss M. M. Smith, editress, and existed until 

The Gouverneur Herald, a twenty-eight-column weekly, 
was established April 10, 1873. During the first few 
weeks of its existence it experienced several changes of 
ownership, but was finally purchased by H. G. Reynolds, 
who continued sole manager and proprietor until Nov. 12, 
1874, when Frank L. Cox purchased a half-interest, and 
the firm became Reynolds & Cox, as at present. The paper 
has since been increased from twenty-eight to thirty-six 
columns folio. In politics it is Republican. This and the 
l\mes are the two papers of the village at the present time. 


The Hermon Union was a neat twenty-eight-column 
weekly newspaper, established Oct. 27, 1874, by T. A. 
Farnsworth, proprietor, and D. C. Carter, editor. Its suc- 
cess seemed assured, when the office was destroyed in the 
extensive fire that visited the village April 27, 1875, and 
no publication of the Union followed that disaster, save one 
issue detailing the conflagration, which issue was printed at 

The Hermon Advertiser, an 8 by 12 inch sheet, issuing 
semi-monthly, was founded by Charles Pliny Earle, a youno- 
man who learned " the art preservative" in the office of the 
Union. It is devoted to the business interests of Hermon 
and its circulation is gratuitous. It contains a summary of 
local news, and 500 copies are distributed every other week. 
A good job-office is connected with the establishment. 


The Waddington Pioneer is a late venture in the field 
of journalism. It is an eight-column folio weekly, and was 
begun in the spring of 1877. 



Early Schools—" Literature Lotteries" — Commissioners, Trustees 
and Superintendents— Stnte Normal and Training School— County 
Teachers' Association — St. Lawrence University Etc. 

The earliest schools in the State of New York were 
of a private nature, and small academies were probably in 
existence previous to the Revolution. In his first messao-e 
to the State legislature after the adoption of the constitution 
of 1787, Gov. George Clinton uses the following languao-e : 

" Neglect of the education of youth is one of the evils 

consequent upon war. Perhaps there is scarce anything 
more worthy your attention than the revival and encourage- 
ment of seminaries of learning ; and nothing by which we 
can more satisfactorily express our gratitude to the Supreme 
Being for his past. favors, since purity and virtue are gen- 
erally the offspring of an enlightened understanding." 

During that session an act was passed incorporating the 
regents of the university, who reported to the legislature 
the numerous advantages which would accrue to the citi- 
zens generally from the establishment of common schools. 

In 1789 an act was passed requiring the surveyor-general 
to set apart two lots in each township for gospel and school 
purposes. At the session of 1795, Gov. Clinton recom- 
mended, in the following language, the organization of a 
common school system : 

" While it is evident that the general establishment and 
liberal endowment of academies are highly to be commended, 
and are attended with the most beneficent consequences, yet 
it cannot be denied that they are principally confined to the 
children of the opulent, and that a great portion of the com- 
munity is excluded from their immediate advantage. The 
establishment of common schools throughout the State is 
happily calculated to remedy this inconvenience, and will, 
therefore, engage your early and decided consideration." 

An act was passed appropriating f 50,000 annually for 
five years for encouraging and maintaining schools to be 
instructed in the common Elnglish branches. 

The amount was apportioned among the several counties, 
and the supervisors were required to raise by tax on each 
town a sum equal to half that received from the State. 
Provision was made for the supervision of the schools, and 
the apportionment of the moneys among the several dis- 
tricts and for making annual reports. This was the origin 
of the present school system. The appropriation made in 
1795 expired in 1800. 

In 1801 an act was passed directing the sum of $100,000 
to be raised by means of four successive lotteries, |12,500 
to be paid to the regents of the university, and the re- 
maining 187,500 to be paid into the treasury for the use 
of common schools, under direction of the State legisla- 
ture. These " literature lotteries" were in existence until 
after the constitution of 1821 was adopted, which prohib- 
ited them, and the comptroller was directed to invest the 
proceeds remaining in real estate. 

An act was passed in April, 1805, providing that the net 
proceeds of 500,000 acres of the vacant and unappropriated 
lands owned by the State should be appropriated as a per- 
manent fund for the support of common schools, the avails 
to be safely invested until the interest should amount to 
$50,000, when an annual distribution of that amount should 
be made among the schools of the State. 

In 1811 an act was passed empowering the governor 
(Tompkins) to appoint a committee of five to report a 
system for the establishment of common schools. The 
committee reported in February, 1812, and submitted the 
draft of a bill which contained, with one exception, the 
main features of the school system as it existed up to 1840. 
As originally passed, this act authorized the electors of each 
town to determine whether they would accept their share 
of the public money and raise an amount equal thereto on 



their taxable property. The act was afterwards amended, 
making it obligatory. 

The outlines of the plan submitted by the commissioners 
were, briefly, as follows : The several towns of the State to 
be divided into school districts by three commissioners, 
elected by the citizens. Three trustees to be elected in 
each district, who should superintend the schools; the 
interest on the school fund to be divided among the differ- 
ent counties, according to population, the proportion for 
each town to be divided according to the number of chil- 
dren between the ages of five and fifteen years. Each town 
to raise by tax as much money as should be received from 
this fund. The gross amount of money raised by the 
State and by the towns to be appropriated to the payment 
of teachers exclusively. The whole system to be placed 
under the superintendence of an ofiicer appointed by the 
council of appointment. 

Gideon Hawley, of Albany, was the first superintendent 
appointed by the governor and council, Jan. 14, 1813.* 

The apportionment of moneys received from the State in 
1814 was as follows : 

Louisville, $4.50; Madrid, $20.46; Massena, $9.46; 
Stockholm, $4.43 ; Potsdam, $13.38 ; Gouverneur, $3.21 ; 
Oswegatchie, $17.94; Lisbon, $11.82. This was an ex- 
cess of the State appropriation of 1813 paid to the towns 
of De Kalb and Hopkinton, and refunded by them. 

In 1827 the annual sum distributed to the several dis- 
tricts of the Stat€ was increased to $100,000. During the 
administration of Secretary John A. Dix, the foundation of 
the school district library was laid. 

In 1838 the legislature passed an act adding $160,000 
from the revenue of the U. S. deposit fund to the amount 
annually apportioned to the schools, making in all $275,000, 
one-fifth to be appropriated annually for the purchase of 
books, the remainder to be applied in the payment of 
teachers. An equal amount was required to be levied on 
the taxable property for the same purpose. 

In Feb., 1839, John C. Spencer began his administration 
as secretary of state, during which an act was passed 
creating the office of county superintendent of schools. 
Samuel Young was the next secretary of state, com- 
mencing Feb. 7, 1842. In 1843 the offices of town com- 
missioner and inspector were abolished, and a town super- 
intendent substituted. Teachers' institutes were first held 
in this year. The normal school at Albany was established 
in 1844. 

Nathaniel S. Benton succeeded Samuel Young in 1845. 
At a special session of the legislature, in Nov., 1847, an act 
was passed abolishing the office of county superintendent. 
Jan. 1, 1848, Chi-istopher Morgan became secretary of 
state, during whose administration a deputy superintendent 
was appointed, Alex. G. Johnson being the first. 

The act establishing " free schools" was passed on the 
26th of March, 1849. A controversy followed, and in 
1851 the free school law was repealed, and a State tax of 
$800,000 levied. 

In 1850, S. S. Randall was appointed deputy superin- 

* Welcome Esleeck Buooeeded Mr. Hawley, but soon after the 
secretary of state was made ex. officio superintendent of schools. 
John Van Ness succeeded Mr. Esleeck. 

tendent. In 1852, Henry W. Johnson was appointed 
deputy State superintendent, and was succeeded, in 1854, 
by S. S. Randall. In the last-named year the legislature 
created a department of public instruction, with Victor M. 
Rice as superintendent. The incumbents of the office since 
have been Henry H. Van Dyck, Emerson W. Keys, Vic- 
tor M. Rice, Abram B. Weaver, and Neil Gilmour. 

The general school law was revised in 1864. The legis- 
lature of 1856 substituted for the $800,000 State tax a 
levy of three-fourths of a mill upon every dollar of the 
value of real and personal property. By the act of 1867 
a tax of one and one-fourth mills was directed to be raised. 
The rate bill was repealed, and the schools became finally 
free in 1867. 

The number of school districts in the towns of the State 
was reported in 1875 as 11,291. 

Union graded schools have been adopted in many of the 
larger towns. 


The earliest schools in St. Lawrence County were estab- 
lished during the first decade of the present century, the 
earliest in Ogdensburg being opened in 1809. Academies 
were opened at an early date, the first being at Potsdam, 
called the "St. Lawrence academy,'' in 1812. Another 
was opened at Gouverneur in 1826, called the " Gouverneur 
Wesleyan seminary," and a third at Canton, under the 
name of " Canton academy," in 1831. The "Ogdensburg 
academy" was opened in 1834. A history of these insti- 
tutions is given in connection with that of their respective 

According to the State superintendent's report for 1875 
the number of school districts in the county, including the 
city of Ogdensburg, was 508. The number of school build- 
ings was 495, of which 9 were in the city. Of these, 401 
were frame buildings, 57 brick, and 21 stone, with a total 
valuation of $300,143. The total number of children of school 
age was 30,563, and the total attendance 21,440, of which 
728 were from other districts. The total amount of money 
received from all sources was $155,009.13. There weie in 
addition 56 private schools, with 2574 pupils in attend- 
ance. The number of licensed teachers employed for 28 
weeks or more was 544, and the total number licensed in 
the county for the year was 1005, of which 194 were males 
and 811 females. The number of volumes in libraries was 
21,565, valued at $10,853. The school commissioners are 
Erwin S. Barnes, of Gouverneur, Albert L. Cole, of Her- 
mon, and Lucius L. Goodale, of Potsdam. The State tax 
for 1876 was $25,393, and the amount received from the 
State, for the same date, was $78,381. 


By an act of the legislature passed April 7, 1866, the 
governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, comptroller, 
treasurer, attorney-general, and superintendent of public 
instruction were constituted a commission to select locations 
for four new normal schools, and in making such selections 
were directed to consider the offers of land, buildings, or 
money, which counties, towns, villages, and existing insti- 
tutions of learning were thereby authorized to make. 

It being understood that one of the new schools was to 



be in northern New York, tlie long existence and wide re- 
nown of St. Lawrence academy at once drew attention to 
Potsdam as the proper place for the intended institution, 
and earnest efforts were made to secure its location there. 
The trustees of the academy unanimously voted to surren- 
der their land and buildings to the normal school ; the su- 
pervisors of St. Lawrence County made an appropriation 
of $25,000 to aid in the erection of new buildings. The 
village of Potsdam added $10,000 more, and the town of 
Potsdam, at a special meeting, held Dec. 1, 1866, voted to 
increase the amount by $15,000 more. 

This made a total of $50,000, but the State commission 
decided that they would not accept less than $70,000, 
besides the land and other property of St. Lawrence acad- 
emy, as a condition of locating the new institution at Pots- 
'dam. This amount was estimated to be sufficient to build 
the required edifice for the school, besides purchasing the 
ground and building occupied by the Presbyterian church 
of Potsdam, which was between the two lots and buildings 
owned by the academy. On Dec. 23, 1866, another special 
meeting of the voters of the town of Potsdam was held, 
and, after an earnest debate, it was decided by a large ma- 
jority that the town should give $20,000 more for the nor- 
mal scbool, thus making up the $70,000 required. 

In January, 1867, the legislature passed an act accepting 
the various offers above mentioned, directing the levying of 
taxes in accordance with them, and appointing a commission 
to erect the proposed building. It consisted of Erasmus D. 
Brooks, President, T. Streatfield Clarkson (2d), Treasurer, 
Hiram H. Peek, Henry Watkins, and Charles Cox. There 
was still another difficulty, however. The Presbyterian 
church asked $10,000 for its land and building, and the su- 
perintendent of public instruction, who had control over this 
item, would not allow but $8000 out of the funds already 
contributed. But the village of Potsdam added $2000 to 
its former gift, and thus this difficulty was obviated. 

In August, 1867, the first " local board" was appointed 
by the superintendent of public instruction ; such board 
being designated by law as the governing power of the in- 
stitution, under the superintendent. The first board con- 
sisted of Henry Watkins, President ; Charles 0. Tappan, 
Secretary ; Noble S. Elderkin, Aaron N. Deering, Jesse 
Reynolds, and A. X. Parker, of Potsdam; Ebenezer Fisher, 
of Canton; Roswell Pettibone, of Ogdensburg; and John 
I. Gilbert, of Malone. In November, 1867, the commis- 
sion to erect the buildings let the contract therefor to 
Joseph Greene. 

In the spring of 1868, the work commenced. The old 
academy buildings were torn down and removed, the foun- 
dation walls of the new edifice were constructed, and on the 
14th day of Juno, 1868, the corner-stone of the " State 
Normal and Training school" was laid with imposing cere- 
monies by the jMasonic fraternity ; a specially constituted 
grand lodge and eleven subordinate lodges being present, 
besides an immense assemblage of other citizens, ean-er to 
testify their good-will towards the new institution. 

In the course of less than a year the buildino- was 
erected. The body of the old Presbyterian church (brick) 
was incorporated into it, but all the rest was of Potsdam 
sandstone, laid up in the style known as rough ashlar. In- 

cluding the Mansard roof, it comprised three stories besides 
the basement. It presented a total front of two hundred 
and twenty-four feet toward the eastern side of the public 
square of Potsdam, but the depth was jaaade irregular to 
facilitate the lighting and ventilation. It was fitted up to 
accommodate 250 normal students, 180 academic, 180 inter- 
mediate, and 250 primary. 

In the winter of 1868-69, John H. French was nomi- 
nated by the local board, and confirmed by the superintend- 
dent of public instruction, as principal of the school and 
president of the faculty, but having resigned before the 
school opened, Malcolm MacVicar, Ph.D., LL.D., was 
appointed in his place. 

The building was completed April 25, 1869, and the 
school was opened on the 27th of the same month. It had 
been understood, when St. Lawrence academy surrendered 
its property, and when the people of the locality poured 
forth their means so liberally in behalf of the new school, 
that the latter should affiard free instruction to other than 
strictly normal students. Accordingly, it was divided into 
four departments : normal, academic, intermediate, and 
primary. When it opened it had but twenty-five normal 
students, together with thirty-eight in the academic depart- 
ment, ninety-seven in the intermediate, and ninety-nine in 
the primary. By the fall term the number of normal stu- 
dents had increased to a hundred and thirty-four. 

The State has appropriated $18,000 a year for the sup- 
port of the school ever since it was opened. Besides this 
it expended $32,000 in 1870 to put ten furnaces into the 
building, and make other improvements. In 1871 $3000 
extra were appropriated for improving the grounds, fencing, 
etc. In 1876 an appropriation of $17,000 was granted by 
the legislature, and in the course of that year a still more 
important improvement was made. 

The old brick church, which had been made to do duty 
as the centre of the normal school building, was removed, 
and the whole edifice was harmonized and completed by a 
central structure of Potsdam sandstone, forty-five feet front 
by a hundred and thirty feet deep. This, it will be under- 
stood, leaves the total frontage two hundred and twenty-four 
feet as before. The whole is surmounted by a cupola, reach- 
ing a hundred feet from the ground. 

This lofty, extensive, and strongly-built edifice, of a rich, 
dark-brown color, forms a most appropriate home for the 
arts and sciences, and is certainly a great advance on the 
little frame " academy" built, a few rods distant, by Benja- 
min Raymond, sixty-seven years ago. Yet that action of 
Mr. Raymond is doubtless the principal reason why this 
baronial-looking structure now overlooks the busy village of 
Potsdam and the valley of the rushing Raquette. 

The normal and academic departments are now com- 
bined under the general head of the normal department, 
there being a hundred and seventy-four normal and forty- 
eight academic students. In the intermediate department 
there are a hundred pupils, and in the primary department 

The faculty consists of Malcolm MacVicar, Ph.D., LL.D., 
principal and teacher of intellectual and moral philosophy 
and school economy; Henry L. Harter, A.M., vice-principal 
and teacher of ancient languages ; Amelia Morey, precep- 



tress and teacher of methods in grammar ; Warren Mann, 
A.M., teacher of natural sciences ; Eugene S. Loomis, 
Frank E. Hathorne, Charles C. Townsend, A.B., Mary L. 
Wood, Amelia A. McPadden, Mary M. Kyle, and Carrie 
M. Grifford, teachers of other branches ; Helen D. Austin, 
principal of the intermediate department ; and Frances A. 
Parmeter, principal of the primary department. 

The local board now consists (December, 1877) of Henry 
Watkins, A.M., president; Hon. Charles 0. Tappan, sec- 
retary; Jesse Reynolds, M.D., treasurer; Eben Fisher, 
D.D., Rpswell Pettibone, A.M., Hon. John I. Gilbert, 
A.M., Hon. A. X. Parker, and Gen. E. A. Merritt ; Wil- 
liam Wallace, Esq., who had been a member since a short 
time after the organization of the board, having died within 
the past summer. 

To gain admission to the normal department, applicants 
must be at least sixteen years of age, of good health, good 
moral character, and average abilities. They are appointed 
to the school by the State superintendent of , public instruc- 
tion, on the recommendation of school commissioners and 
city superintendents. They must pass a fair examination 
in reading, spelling, geography, and arithmetic as far as the 
square root, and be able to analyze and parse simple sen- 

All pupils must also, on entering, sign a declaration that 
their purpose in attending is to prepare themselves to teach, 
and that it is their present intention to teach in the public 
schools of this State for a reasonable length of time. In 
the judgment of the State superintendent, a " reasonable 
length of time" is a period as long as that during which 
the student has attended the normal school. 

There are three courses in the normal department : the 
elementary English, the advanced English, and the class- 
ical. The elementary English course occupies two years ; 
the first is devoted to arithmetic, grammar, and other studies 
of the same grade ; the second, or strictly normal, year, 
to the history and philosophy of education, school economy, 
school law, methods of giving object-lessons, teaching in 
school of practice, and other exercises intended to fit the 
students for their profession as teachers. 

The intermediate and primary departments furnish the 
schools of practice, where the normal students acquire the 
art of teaching by giving actual instruction under the eye 
of their own supervisors. 

To enter the advanced course, students must 
pass a satisfactory examination in all the studies of the first 
year in the elementary English course. The first year in 
the advanced is devoted to algebra, geometry, English lit- 
erature, and corresponding studies, while the second, or 
normal, year is nearly the same as in the elementary Eng- 
lish course. 

The classical course embraces three years. The first is 
employed on the higher English studies and Latin; the 
second, on Latin, Greek, and a few other branches ; the 
third, on Latin, Greek, professional studies, and teaching in 
the school of practice. 

Students who satisfactorily complete either of these 
courses receive diplomas, which serve as licenses to teach in 
all the public schools of the State. Notwithstanding the 
division of the courses into years, students are allowed to 

advance as slowly as their health, attainments, or other 
circumstances may require, or as rapidly as those circum- 
stances will permit. 

There are three flourishing literary societies connected 
with the school, — the " Roger Baconian" and the " Francis 
Baconian" being sustained by the young men, and the 
" Alpha" by the young women. 

The school year is divided into two terms of twenty weeks 
each, — ^the fall term beginning on the first Wednesday in 
September, and the spring term on the second Wednesday 
in February. The intermediate and primary departments 
open two weeks later in the fall, and one week later in the 
spring, than the normal. The State places students from 
a distance on an equality with those in the vicinity, so far 
as practicable, by refunding the fare necessarily paid on 
public conveyances, in coming to the school, to those who 
remain a full term. 

We have reserved to the last the most important subject 
connected with the normal school, — the method of instruc- 
tion. This is the same as that employed in the other nor- 
mal schools of this State, but is materially different from 
that in common use in other schools, academies, and col- 

This method is frequently called " object-teaching," but 
that name is repudiated by all the normal school teachers, 
as involving the idea of holding up toy-like "objects" before 
the pupils. This is considered well enough for small 
children, but the system must reach a much more advanced 
stage of development before it is available for young men 
and women. Mr. Sheldon, principal of the Oswego normal 
school, calls the system in use the objective mode of teach- 
ing, while Mr. Mac Vicar, of the Potsdam school, terms it 
the scientific method. 

Under either name, the idea is to teach known realities 
in the most direct manner possible. As the lawyer always 
objects to " hearsay evidence," so these gentlemen object to 
hearsay teaching or studying. If a material object is to be 
described it must if possible be inspected, measured, weighed, 
tested in every possible manner, by actual observation. If 
this is not practicable, then the pictured or sculptured 
representation is to be used. When a complete " concept," 
or representation of the object, has been formed in the brain, 
then it is considered proper to read about it, for then the 
words bring up the concept before the mind, which other- 
wise they would not do. 

In mathematics the same rule is applied ; constantly 
familiarizing the mind with the idea that numbers represent 
actual objects ; studying actual cubes instead of representa- 
tions of cubes on the blackboard, and in all things working 
on the solid basis of reality. 

In mental and moral philosophy a similar course is to 
be observed. The pupils are first to study not what Herbert 
Spencer says, or Dugald Stewart, or Sir William Hamilton, 
but what they themselves feel. They are to observe closely 
their own emotions, passions, reasoning powers, and learn 
all they can in that way of mental and moral phenomena ; 
then it will be time enough to extend their knowledge by 
finding out what other people have to say on the subject. 

It is not our province to pass judgment upon these 
ideas, but as the normal schools are designed to teach the 



teachers, it is evident that the views promulgated and the 
methods employed at those institutions are likely to have 
a marked effect on the whole educational system, and we 
have therefore deemed it necessary to furnish our readers 
with a slight sketch of the mode of procedure in the prin- 
cipal school of St. Lawrence County. 

The first nominations for normal school in St. Lawrence 
County were made hy the supervisors in 1846, and were as 
follows : Rollin Dart, George Ellis, James Forsythe, Sidney 
R. Smith, and Miss Susan Richardson. 


The St. Lawrence County Teachers' Association was or- 
ganized in the court-house at Canton, in October, 1858. 
Mr. W. Spaulding, Esq., the school commissioner of the 
second assembly district, was the first president. He, and 
his fellow-commissioners of the county, and James Cruik- 
shanks, Esq., then of Lisbon (who was engaged in pro- 
moting the general interests of education in the State), suc- 
ceeded in awakening sufficient interest among the teachers 
of the county to induce a respectable number to assemble at 
that time, form an association, and discuss the details of 
school- work and the general principles of education. From 
that time to this, nineteen years, the association has held 
annual meetings, and some years semi-annual meetings. In 
July, 1859, the session was held in Ogdensburg, when 
essays were read and discussed, practical questions intro- 
duced and answered, methods of education, chiefly drawn 
from the experience of the teaclier, presented and com- 
posed, and addresses delivered. On this occasion the 
closing address, on " The Dignity of the Teacher's Office,'' 
was given by Prof. J. S. Lee, who had recently come from 
Woodstock, Vermont, to take charge of the collegiEte de- 
partment of the St. Lawrence university. The sessions 
have been held in Pot.sdam, Madrid, Gouverneur, Richville, 
Heuvelton, Rensselaer Falls, Lawrenceville, Norwood, Og- 
densburg, and Canton. The people of these places took a 
commendable interest in the gatherings, attended the meet- 
ings, generously entertained the teachers in their houses, 
and thus made it pleasant for them. 

The meetings usually continued from two to three days. 
At first the sessions were held in summer and autumn, but 
it soon became apparent that the teachers could be better 
accommodated by holding them during the brief recess be- 
tween Christmas and New Year's. This afforded an oppor- 
tunity for a large number of teachers to be present. Every 
session has been well attended, and sometimes a large crowd 
has assembled. Generally from 200 to 300 teachers have 
been present, and a goodly number of these taken part in the 
exercises. A sparsely-attended or a poor meeting has not 
been held from the first organization. At several of the 
first sessions, no regular programme was presented before 
the association met, or only the barest outline of exercises, 
and few or no speakers were selected. The members came 
together and discussed subjects presented by any member 
suggested by the occasion, or drawn up in order by a com- 
mittee appointed after the association met. This plan, or 
want of plan rather, did not work well, and a committee 
was appointed at each session, to draw up and present an 
order of exercises to be followed at the next session and 

the speakers selected. This programme was printed and 
distributed at the commencement of the session. Still, some 
whose names appeared on this programme failed to perform 
the parts assigned them. Then more care was taken to 
select speakers and essayists who would give the assurance 
that, unforeseen contingencies excepted, they would perform 
the duty assigned them. The result has been most satis- 
factory. Only very few have failed to appear whose names 
were on the programme. This has contributed much to the 
success of the association. 

The officers have not been frequently changed. The 
names of the presidents are : C. C. Church, commissioner 
of the second district, 1858-61 ; Rev. Dr. J. S. Lee, 
professor in St. Lawrence university, 1862-68 ; L. L. 
Goodale, present commissioner of the third district, 1869- 
73 ; Barney Whitney, principal of Lawrence academy, 
1874-78. The names of the secretaries, so far as they 
have been ascertained, are L. L. Goodale, E. D. Blakeslee, 
and H. L. Horter, professor and vice-principal of Potsdam 
normal school. The present officers are Barney Whitney, 
president ; J. S. Lee, vice-president ; H. L. Horter, secre- 
tary ; J. A. Hoig, treasurer. 


This institution was founded by, and is under the control 
of, the Universalist church. It is the only college in the 
State north of the Central railroad. The original design of 
the founders was to establish a divinity school. The uni- 
versity is the result of an amplification of their plans. 

Prior to 1845 no attempt had been made to put into sys- 
tematic operation a theological seminary in the Universalist 
denomination. In September of that year Thomas J. Saw- 
yer, D.D., then principal of the Liberal Institute at Clinton, 
opened a theological department in that school, and, entirely 
unaided by the denomination at large, maintained the same 
for several years. While thus engaged he continued to 
urge upon clergy and laity, through the denominational 
press and from the pulpit, the necessity of a Universllist 
college and theological school. In his efforts he was ably 
seconded by the Rev. W. S. Balch. Tuft's college, at Coi^. 
lege Hill, Mass., was the first and immediate result of the 
movement thus begun. 

The need of a divinity school still existed, and at a meet- 
ing of the Ne,w York State convention of Univer«ili»ts, 
held at Hudson, in 1852, the " New York Education So- 
ciety" was formed, and this appears to be substantially the 
first step towards the institution at Canton. The constitu-- 
tion of this society declared its object to be " to promote 
the cause of education in connection with the Universalist 
denomination, and to aid in the education of young men of 
good reputation and promise who are desirous of entering 
the ministry." A board of sixteen trustees was chosen, 
who organized by electing Rev. T. J. Sawyer president, 
Rev. E. Francis ti-easurer, and Geoige E. Baker secretary. 

Solicitors of subscriptions were put into the field. By 
common consent it was understood that the school should 
be located in that part of the State which should offer the 
greatest pecuniary and other inducements. Various locali- 
ties in central New York were proposed. During the year 
1854 subscriptions amounting to upwards of $20,000 were 



secured, but no definite steps were taken as to selecting a 

Martin Thatcher, Esq., of the city of New York, but 
formerly resident at Canton, was the first to propose Canton 
as the place for the school. In the spring of the year 1855 
he broached the proposition to Theodore Caldwell, Levi B. 
Storrs, and Barzillai Hodskin, three prominent business 
men of Canton. These gentlemen held their first meeting 
to consider the question at a hotel in New York city, during 
the month of April, 1855. At first Messrs. Storrs, Hods- 
kin, and Caldwell had little faith in the feasibility of the 
project, and felt that their section of the State would be 
unable to compete with wealthier and more central localities. 
Inspired, however, by Mr. Thatcher's energy and hopeful- 
ness, they returned home and immediately entered upon a 
thorough canvass of the county. Their eiforts were en- 
couraged to such an extent that thoy felt warranted in 
pledging their personal responsibility for the raising the 
sum of $15,000 for the school. The committee to whom 
was intrusted the selection of locality for the school met in 
August, 1855. Messrs. Caldwell, Thatcher, Hodskin, and 
Storrs placed in the hands of this committee their joint and 
several bond, conditioned for the payment of the sum of 
$15,000 towards the purchase of a site and erection of a 
building, in case the school should be located at Canton. 
After careful consideration it appeared to the satisfaction 
of the committee that the ofi'er from Canton was the most 
advantageous of the several submitted to them, and Jan. 5, 
1856, it was decided to locate the school at Canton. 

Messrs. Thatcher, Storrs, Caldwell, and Hodskin imme- 
diately organized themselves as a general committee for 
soliciting subscriptions and putting up a building. Some- 
thing over $20,000 was subscribed in northern New York, 
payable according to the terms of the subscription, — not at 
once, but in four equal annual instalments. Notwithstand- 
ing their thus limited resources, the committee purchased 
twenty acres of land, near the village of Canton, and began 
the erection of a brick building one hundred feet long by 
fifty wide. 

The need of a college in northern New York had long 
been felt. As soon as it was decided to locate the theologi- 
cal school at Canton, the proposition was made that a col- 
lege be established in connection with it, or rather that a 
university be established, of which a college of letters and 
science and the theological school should be departments. 
The project was received with much favor by the leading 
men of the county, not alone of the Universalist, but of 
other denominations. The late Hons. Preston King, John 
Leslie Russell, and David C. Judson were outspoken friends 
of the proposed university, and very earnestly recommended 
its establishment. The idea thus well received was promptly 
acted upon, and by an act of the legislature of the State of 
New York, passed April 3, 1856, "Jacob Harsen, Preston 
King, John Leslie Russell, Sidney Lawrence, George C. 
Sherman, Francis Seger, Martin Thatcher, Barzillai Hods- 
kin, Levi B. Storrs, Theodore Caldwell, James Stirling, F. 
C. Havemeyer, Caleb Barstow, Thomas Wallace, Josiah 
Barber, Norman Van Nostrand, George E. Baker, P. S. 
Bitley, H. W. Barton, A. C. Moore, Thomas J. Sawyer, 
William S. Balch, John M. Austin, L. C. Brown, George 

W. Montgomery, and such other persons as are or may be 
associated with them, and their successors'' were chosen " a 
body corporate, by the name of the St. Lawrence Univer- 
sity, for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, and con- 
ducting a college in the town of Canton, St. Lawrence Co., 
for the promotion of general education, and to cultivate and 
advance literature, science, and the arts ; and also to estab- 
lish and maintain a theological school and department in 
Canton aforesaid." It was further enacted that the funds 
of the two departments should be kept separate. The 
building committee proceeded with their work. The cor- 
ner-stone of the main building was laid June 18, 1856. 
The proceeds of the subscriptions made as before stated 
proved inadequate to the work, and the committee were 
often at their wits' ends to carry on the work continuously. 
Levi B. Storrs was the financial agent of the enterprise. 
Mr. Caldwell worked actively in the field, while Messrs. 
Thatcher and Hodskin left no stone unturned to assist their 
colleagues. At hardly any time from the first was the 
committee able to proceed without pledging their personal 
responsibility. Especially did Messrs. Storrs and Thatcher 
raise money in this manner. At one time their individual 
notes to the amount of several thousand dollars were put 
into the New York market for funds. These strenuous 
efforts were successful. The building was ready for occu- 
pation in April, 1857. Meanwhile the legislature had been 
petitioned for an appropriation for the new university, and 
on April 18, 1857, an act was passed giving it the sum of 
$25,000, on condition that the same sum be raised by its 
friends in addition to all amounts previously secured. Of 
this sum, $19,000 were raised by subscription, and Messrs. 
Caldwell, Hodskin, Storrs, and Thatcher became responsible 
for $6000, and the appropriation was secured. 

April 15, 1858, the theological school was formally 
opened, with Rev. Eben Fisher at its head. The college 
department was opened in April, 1858, Rev. John S. Lee 
being inducted into the principalship. 

The first theological class, consisting of five, was gradu- 
ated in 1861. This department has in all one hundred 
graduates, while nearly two hundred besides have followed 
special courses under its instruction. The Rev. Dr. Fisher 
is still at its head. Through his energy the school has 
been made a great power in the Universalist church. Its 
funds have been largely increased by his efforts. On sev- 
eral occasions of pressing necessity he has entered the field 
for funds, and never without large success. Dr. Fisher is a 
man of great force of character, honest, manly piety, large 
learning in his special field, and wide experience with men. 
Under his training, the best in his students is developed. No 
man in the denomination is more aptly and thoroughly fitted 
to his work than Dr. Fisher. Rev. Massena Goodrich, M. A., 
occupied the chair of Biblical Languages and Literature from 
1861 to 1863. He was succeeded by Rev. Orello Cone, 
M.A., who still is the incumbent. Prof. Cone is a gentle- 
man of remarkable attainment in many fields of learning. 
His knowledge of the ancient and modern languages enables 
him to stand abreast with the ablest writers and the best 
thinkers on questions of biblical and theological interpreta- 
tion. Since 1869, Dr. John S. Lee has filled the professor- 
ship of Ecclesiastical History and Biblical Archaeology. 



We shall speak of him further in connection with the Col- 
lege of Letters and Science. The regular course of the 
theological department covers three years, and embraces 
instruction in moral philosophy, logic, ecclesiastical history, 
homiletics, evidences of Christianity, intellectual philoso- 
phy, exegesis, natural theology, systematic theology, bibli- 
cal archaeology, and the Greek and Hebrew languages. 
There is also a post-graduate course, to be completed in one 
year. The degree of Bachelor of Divinity is conferred on 
those completing the post-gi-aduate course. Those com- 
pleting the three years' course receive diplomas. Applicants 
for admission to the theological school must bring satisfac- 
tory testimonials as to their moral and religious character. 
They must also sustain a satisfactory examination in the 
English branches. They must be believers in the Holy 
Scriptures, must accept the Winchester confession of faith, 
and have a fixed determination to devote their lives to the 
Christian ministry. 

Prior to the opening of the collegiate department of 
the university, there had been very little instruction in the 
classics in northern New York. Potsdam academy, a fit- 
ting school for Middlebury college, was the only institution 
in the section which provided satisfactory training prepara- 
tory for college. As a consequence, there was very little 
of the classical spirit in the region in which the new insti- 
tution was to look for students. Professor Lee found it 
necessary to organize a preparatory school in connection 
with the collie, for the purpose of fitting students for the 
college itself. The fitting school was continued until 1864, 
and then given up. The first class was graduated from the 
college in 1865. Since then the classes have followed each 
other in regular succession, gradually, on the whole, in- 
creasing in the number of their members. For the best 
interests of the new college Professor Lee worked ably, 
tirelessly, and successfiiUy. His zeal never flagged, even 
under great discouragements. He gave the best years of his 
early prime to the work, until, worn out by care and drudg- 
ery, he was obliged to seek rest in travel. After his return 
from a tour of the Old World, in 1869, he was called to 
and accepted the chair he now holds in the theological 
department. Rev. Richmond Fisk, Jr., D.D., succeeded 
him as the head of the college, with the title of president. 
Dr. Fisk instituted a policy which brought the college more 
prominently and favorably before the public, and increased 
its usefulness in many directions. Under his administra- 
tion, there grew up more of the college spirit than had 
been before felt. Through his efibrts, and by the aid of an 
efficient corps of professors, the courses of instruction be- 
came more definitely fixed ; methods were systematized, 
lectureships instituted, prize funds established, and, in 
general, the best characteristics of college training began to 
be developed. Under President Fisk, in 1869, a school of 
law was instituted in connection with the university, with 
William C. Cooke, Esq., professor of practice, pleadings, 
and evidence ; Hon. Leslie W. Russell, professor of per- 
sonal property, criminal and commercial law, and real es- 
tate ; and Hon. Stillman Foote, professor of domestic re- 
lations, personal rights, wills, and contracts. After grad- 
uating two classes this department was discontinued, owino- 
to a curtailing of its privileges by the effect of new rules 

of the court of appeals regulating admission to the bar. 
Daring its continuance the school flourished greatly. The 
eminent legal gentlemen named gave its students excellent 
courses of lectures, and, at considerable sacrifice on their 
own part, were rapidly building up a law school second to 
none, when, by reason of the rather invidious rules spoken 
of, the enterprise had to be abandoned. Dr. Fisk was also 
largely instrumental in securing the erection of the Herring 
library hall, which was built in 1869—70, and stands on the 
college campus, northwest of the main building. This hall 
is a fire-proof structure, and the depository of the Herring 
library of some ten thousand volumes, named after Silas C. 
Herring, of New York city, to whose liberality the univer- 
sity is indebted for the same. This library is very valuable, 
and comprises several collections, the principal one being 
that of the late Dr. E. K. Credner, of the university of 
Giessen, Germany. 

Dr. Fisk resigned the presidency of the college in 1872, 
and was succeeded by Rev. Absalom G. Gaines, D.D., who 
is still president. The improvements and reforms begun 
under Dr. Fisk have been in general carried through by 
Dr. Gaines, and many others inaugurated. Eminent thor- 
oughness in every direction is the characteristic of the 
administration of President Gaines. He is satisfied with 
nothing short of the very best effort of every student. He 
is a man of the strongest personality and profoundest 
scholarship. He is very popular with the students. He 
pervades, it may be said, every phase of the college, and 
has established a standard of scholarship and character 
throughout the same which has heretofore never been at- 
tained there. He is assisted by an efiScient faculty, con- 
sisting of the following teachers : A. Z. Squire, M.A., pro- 
fessor of mathematics; Bernhard Pink, professor of the 
German and French languages ; Walter B. Gunnison, B.A., 
professor of the Latin language and literature ; Charles K. 
Gaines, B.A.. professor of the Greek language and litera- 
ture ; James Henry Chapin, M.A., professor of geology 
and mineralogy ; and C. Weaver, B.A., instructor in Latin 
and Greek. Two courses of study are followed in the 
college, the classical and scientific. Each is in every respect 
as comprehensive and adequate as the corresponding courses 
in the best colleges. Each course stands for no more on the 
catalogue than in the class-room. In no institution are the 
various courses of study, as marked out, more conscienti- 
ously followed. 

Women are admitted to all classes and courses upon ex- 
actly the same terms with men. The usual degrees are 
conferred upon those who fulfill the requisites of graduation. 

The governing board of the university is the board of 
trustees, of which Jonas S. Conkey, M.D., is president, and 
Levi B. Storrs, recorder and treasurer. The alumni of the 
university are represented upon its governing body, and will 
soon have much influence in shaping the general policy of 
the institution. 

Among the principal benefactors of the university may 
be named John Craig, Esq., late of Rochester, deceased, 
by whose gift it received the sum of 850,000 ; A. C. Moore, 
Esq., of Buffalo, the donor of $25,000 ; and Alvinza Hay- 
ward, Esq., of California, who gave the sum of $30,000 
to the college. This last benefaction was secured by the 



able efforts of Dr. J. S. Conkey, president of the board of 
trustees, a life-long friend of Mr. Hayward. 

In closing this sketch of the history of St. Lawrence uni- 
versity, it is but proper to say that while, like most similar 
institutions, it is under the control of a religious denom- 
ination, and has for one of its departments a theological 
school, its general policy .is exceedingly liberal, and the 
college proper is entirely unsectarian. Dr. Gaines encour- 
ages the utmost freedom of thought and opinion consistent 
with morality, reason, and true character. All are encour- 
aged to be religious, but none are dictated to as to what 
they shall believe or how they shall worship. 

The institution is to be commended in all respects. To 
those who are desirous of securing a liberal education, but 
are poor, an opportunity is here offered for obtaining the 
same economically. Those having daughters to educate can 
find here the most liberal and solid training for them. On 
the whole, we may say that the institution is broad, liberal, 
and catholic, and in every respect thorough in its policy and 
administration. It is rapidly becoming a power in the 
northern part of the State. Under its influence a literary 
spirit is developing which promises the most happy results. 
Its alumni are becoming numerous and influential, and in 
due time the university will become, if it is not already, a 
powerful factor for good in advancing the interests of the 
county and section. 


The first attempt at planting the Christian religion in St. 
Lawrence County was undoubtedly made by Rev. Father 
Francis Picquet, a Catholic of the order of Sulpicians, in 
the year 1749, who established a mission, and gathered 
several thousand Indians of the Five Nations, and others, 
around the mouth of the Oswegatchie. This mission was 
successfully maintained for about ten years, but upon the 
approach of the English army under Gen. Amherst, in the 
summer of 1760, it was abandoned, and probably never 

The converted Indians scattered in various directions. 
It is possible that the rites and ceremonies of the church 
were retained under the English rule, but we have no au- 
thentic information upon this point. 

The English had a small garrison either at Oswegatchie 
or Oraconenton island for some time after the conquest of 
Canada, and it is possible that clergymen of the English 
Church may have officiated ; but subsequent to 1760 there 
was no permanent religious organization in the county until 
about 1804, when churches began to spring up, at first 
feeble in numbers and in means, but gradually, as the 
country became settled, they grew in importance, and have 
since kept pace with the growth of the country. 


were among the earliest to organize, commencing in 1804 
in Lisbon, and in Ogdensburg the succeeding year. 

Synods. — The formation of the different synods in the 
State have been as follows : The synod of New York, 
" New Side," in 1741 : the synod of New York and New 
Jersey in 1785 ; the synod of Albany in 1803 ; the synod 
of Geneva in 1812 ; the synod of Utica in 1829; synod of 

Susquehanna in 1853 ; synod of Buffalo in 1843 ; synod 
of Susquehanna in 1855 ; synod of Onondaga in 1855. 

Presbyteries. — Presbytery of Dutchess county, 1763 ; 
presbytery of Albany, 1791 ; presbytery of Oneida, 1803; 
presbytery of Geneva in 1805 ; presbytery of Onondaga, 
1810. In 1816 the presbytery of St. Lawrence was formed, 
including that portion of St. Lawrence County not included 
in the presbytery of Champlain and Jefferson and Lewis 
counties. The name of this presbytery was changed to 
Watertown in 1828. In 1821 the portion of St. Lawrence 
County before occupied by the presbytery of Champlain was 
made the new presbytery of Ogdensburg. In 1830 the 
name was changed to St. Lawrence presbytery. 

At the disruption of 1838, the old school ministers and 
churches of the presbytery of St. Lawrence were organized 
into the presbytery of Ogdensburg. At the reconstruction 
of the Judicatories of the Church, in 1870, the General 
Assembly directed that the presbyteries should be defined 
" by geographical lines, or by convenient lines of travel.'' 

At present the counties of St. Lawrence and Jefferson 
constitute the presbytery of St. Lawrence, which includes 
the old presbyteries of Ogdensburg and Watertown. 

The present number of churches of this denomination 
in St. Lawrence County is eleven, located as follows: 1st 
Oswegatchie church, in Ogdensburg; 2d Oswegatchie, at 
Black Lake; Heuvelton, Canton, Waddington, Potsdam, 
Morristown, Gouverneur, Brasher Falls, Hammond, and 
Rossie. The membership, as given in Dr. Fowler's "Pres- 
byterianism in Central New York," published in 1877, is 

According to the United States census report for 1870, 
there were twenty-one organizations of all denominations of 
Presbyterians in the county, with church sittings for 8080. 


The Methodist Episcopal denomination was one of the 
first to organize in St. Lawrence County. It is claimed 
that ministers of this sect preached to the British garrison 
of Oswegatchie as early as 1793. At an early day the 
whole of northern New York was included in various dis- 
tricts and conferences, which were changed from time to 
time, as circumstances required. In 1803^ the " Black 
River circuit" was formed from the Genesee district. 
Among its earliest circuit riders were Barzillai Willey and 
John Husselkus. In 1804 it had 90 members. 

The " St. Lawrence circuit" was formed in 1811, with 
84 members, and Isaac Puffer was the first circuit preacher. 
In 1820 the Black River district was formed as a part of 
Oneida conference, including both of our counties up to the 
period of the division. St. Lawrence circuit was supplied 
by the following preachers : 1812, Isaac Puffer, 144 mem- 
bers ; 1813, Benj. G. Paddock, 160 ; 1814, Joseph Hick- 
cox and Robert Menshall, 230 ; 1815, 262 ; 1816, Wyat 
Chamberlin and John Dempster, 251 ; 1817, Andrew 
Prindle and Thomas McGee, 231 ; 1818, Thomas Good- 
win and Calvin N. Flint, 290 ; 1819, Timothy Goodwin 
and Thomas Demorest, 332 ; 1829, W. W. Rundall and 
Josiah Kies, 349 ; 1821, Ezra Healy and Orrin Foot, 398 ; 
1822, Truman Dixon, Squire Chase, and Roswell Parker, 
343; 1823, Isaac Smith and R. Parker, 383; 1824, 



Gardner Baker, 315 ; 1825, do., 243 ; 1826, James Brown, 
255; 1827, Andrew Prindle, 230; 1828, 152. In this 
year this circuit was divided into several. Indian River 
circuit, embracing a part of St. Lawrence County, was 
formed in 1821. Potsdam circuit was formed in 1823, 
with Warren Bannister first preacher. Subsequently other 
circuits were formed, as follows: Ogdensburg, 1826; Par- 
ishville, Waddington, Canton, and Grouverneur, 1828 ; 
Heuvelton, 1829 ; Port Covington, 1830 ; Hammond and 
Chateaugay, 1832 ; Hopkinton and De Kalb, 1833 ; Lisbon, 
Louisville, Massena, and Bangor, 1835 ; Bombay and Stock- 
holm, 1836 ; Westville, 1837 ; Russell mission, 1838 ; Ros- 
sie mission, Matildaville, and Pierrepont mission, 18-10 ; 
South Canton, Sprague's Corners, Norfolk, Buck's Bridge, 
and Brasher mission, 1841 ; Macomb mission, 1842 ; Ra- 
quette River and West Stockholm, 1843 ; Edwards mission 
and Morristown, 1846 ; St. Regis mission, 1849; St. Law- 
rence, French mission, Duane mission, and Moira circuit, 

Presiding Elders. — Black River district : 1820, Eenaldo 
M. Everts; 1823, Dan. Barnes ; 1826, Goodwin Stoddard ; 

1827, Nathaniel Salisbury. Potsdam district : formed in 

1828, and embraced the two counties and a portion of Jef- 
ferson ; 1828, B.G. Paddock; 1831, Squire Chase; 1834, 
Silas Comfort; 1836, G. Loveys ; 1837, W. S. Bowdish ; 
1839, Lewis Whitcomb ; the district discontinued in 1840, 
and merged in Ogdensburg district ; renewed in 1842 ; 1842, 
A. Adams; 1845, Isaac L. Hunt; 1849, Geo. C. Woodruff; 
Ogdensburg district: formed in 1852 ; 1852, Hiram Shep- 
ard. Gouverneur district: formed in 1839 ; discontinued in 
1844; 1839, W. S. Bowdish; 1841, Lewis Whitcomb; 
1842, Nathaniel Salisbury. 

The " Black River conference" was formed in 1836, and 
incorporated in 1841. It included a large number of coun- 
ties in northern New York, and its first board of trustees 
consisted of George Gary, Jehu Dempsey, Nathaniel Salis- 
bury, Gardner Baker, Wm. S. Bowdish, Isaac Stone, and 
Lewis Whitcomb. Its original charter restricted it to the 
holding of property which should produce an annual income 
not exceeding $10,000, but by the new charter of 1873 its 
jurisdiction was enlarged, so that itnow may possess prop- 
erty having an annual income of $15,000. 

In 1868 the area of the conference was reduced to four 
counties, — Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Franklin. 
In 1872 its title was changed to " Northern New York con- 
ference." It was subsequently enlarged, and now embraces 
Oneida, Oswego, Jefierson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin, 
and a part of Madison, and is subdivided into six districts, 
to wit: Herkimer, Utioa, Oswego, Adams, Watertown, and 
St. Lawrence. At present St. Lawrence County is in- 
cluded partly in Watertown and partly in St. Lawrence 

From the minutes of the Northern New York confer- 
ence for its fourth session,— 1876,— we glean the foUowino- 
statistics : 

Number of circuits a,nd stations, 30, viz., Gouverneur, Ilcrmon, De 
Kalb, Rensselaer Falls, Heuvelton, De Peyster, Hammond, Edwlrds 
and Fine, Macomb, Potsdam, Potsdam Junction, Canton, Ogdens- 
burg, Morristown, Lisbon, Waddington, Madrid, Buck's Bridge" lius- 
sell, Clare, South Canton and Pierrepont, Colton, Pari8hvil°e,' West 
Stockholm, Norfolk, Louisville, Massena, Brasher, Lawrence, and 

Nioholville. Total number of communicants in full membership, 
3963. Twenty-nine Sabbath-schools are reported, with 635 officers 
and teachers, and an attendance of 4380 scholars, and 19 libraries, 
containing 3892 volumes of books. The estimated value of church 
property was $181,850, and the amount of salaries allowed to regu- 
lar ministers, not including presiding elders, was $21,075. The ap- 
proximate value of parsonages was $29,000. The conference includes 
within its jurisdiction four prominent institutions of learning, — the 
Syracuse university, the Wesleyan university, and the Ives and Drew 
theological seminaries, all in a flourishing condition. In connection 
it has also a historical society, Rev. I. S. Bingham, president; a life 
insurance association, a board of church extension, a missionary so- 
ciety, a freedman's -aid society, and a ladies' and pastors' Christian 

Conference Ofieern. — Bishop E. G. Andrews, D.D. (Des Moines, 
Iowa), president; S. 0. Barnes, Lowville, N. Y., secretary; B. S. 
Cheeseman, assistant secretary ; J. C. Stewart, journalist; Wm. Wat- 
son, statistician; M. R. Webster, Daniel Marvin, Jr., James Coote, 
assistant statisticians. 


The advent of this denomination in St. Lawrence was 
coeval with Presbyterianisni, and, in fact, the two bodies 
were mingled together more or less during the first years of 
the early settlements. The St. Lawrence consociation and 
the Black River association, established in 1810, occupied 
northern New York. 

The " St. Lawrence Consociation,'' embracing the lay 
element, was formed at Madrid, Feb. 9, 1825. The "St. 
Lawrence Association,'' formed of the clergy, was organized 
at Madrid, Sept. 14, 1844, with seventeen members. 

According to our best information, the churches of this 
denomination in St. Lawrence County are now included in 
the " Black River Association." 

The number of organizations in the county, as shown by 
the United States census for 1870, was fourteen, with sit- 
tings for 4350. 


This denomination was very early in the county, having 
organized a society in Ogdensburg in 1809. The Baptists 
are somewhat peculiar in their system of church govern- 
ment, each separate society being " a law unto itself," and 
acknowledging no higher authority. Associations of various 
kinds are formed for the transaction of general business, 
but they have no more than advisory power over the 
churches, and there are no higher ofiicers than those of 
each individual church. 

The " St. Lawrence Baptist Association'' was organized 
in the fall of 1813, in Stockholm, in a log house on the St. 
Regis river owned by Zephaniah French, by Elder Haseall, 
founder of Hamilton seminary. Elder Starkweather, from 
Vermont, and a few others. This organization still con- 
tinues, and embraces St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. 
The " Baptist Missionary Convention" was organized in 
1827, as auxiliary to the " Baptist Missionary Convention 
of the State of New York." As its name indicates, its 
work is within the State, though it formerly labored in other 
States and in Canada. 

The " St. Lawrence County Bible Society," organized in 
Sept., 1836, is not now in existence, having been merged 
in a general county Bible society composed of all Protestant 
denominations except Episcopalians. 

The number of churches at present included in the St. 
Lawrence Baptist association within the county is seventeen, 



located at Canton, Colton, Edwards, Fine, Gouverneur, 
Hermon, Lawreneeville, Madrid, Massena, Monterey, Nichol- 
ville, Ogdensburg, Parishville, Pitcairn, Potsdam, Richville, 
and Russell, with a total membership, by their last report 
(1877), of 1447. The total valuation of church property, 
from the same authority, is about |91,000. 

The " St. Lawrence Sunday-School Convention" was or- 
ganized about 1856, and has'continued until the present 
time. The present officers of the convention are J. E. 
Fisk, president, and C. E. Bascom, secretary. Schools 
are reported at Gouverneur, Hermon (2), Lawreneeville, 
Madrid, Monterey, Massena, Nioholville, Ogdensburg, Par- 
ishville, Potsdam, Richville, and Russell, with a total mem- 
bership of 1162, and libraries containing in the aggregate 
2074 volumes. 


The Catholics were first to occupy the ground where 
Ogdensburg now stands, under the lead of Father Picquet, 
in 1749, and this was the establishment of Christianity in 
St. Lawrence County. From 1760 to about 1830, there 
were no stated services of this church in the county. 
About the last-mentioned date missionaries began to visit 
the scattered Catholics within the county, soon after which 
a small stone chapel was erected in Ogdensburg, near where 
St. Mary's cathedral now stands. The Catholic population 
is now quite large in the county, being probably about 4500 
in Ogdensburg alone, and the denominations are well estab- 
lished at various points in the county. 

According to the census of 1870, there were eight or- 
ganizations, with sittings for 4264; but these figures are 
doubtless much below the present facts, as the sittings in 
Ogdensburg will accommodate nearly 3000. The denomi- 
nation have two convents and several schools attached to 
their societies in Ogdensburg. 


The Church of England may possibly have had represen- 
tatives within the present bounds of St. Lawrence County 
during the occupation by the English, from 1760 to about 
1796, but we have no record of them. Probably the first 
church organized was the one at Waddington, then a part 
of Madrid, about 1817. From that date to 1868 all the 
Episcopal churches of northern New York belonged to the 
diocese of New York. In that year all the northeastern 
portions of the State were set off, and constituted the dio- 
cese of Albany, which is subdivided into four convocations, 
— St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex, and in- 
cluded under the general title of " Convocation of Ogdens- 
burg." The Right Rev. William Roswell Doane, S.T.D., 
the present bishop of the diocese, resides at Albany. The 
present archdeacon of the Ogdensburg convocation is Rev. 
George C. Pennell, who resides at Rouse's Point, in Clinton 

This denomination has erected the finest church edifice 
in northern New York at Ogdensburg, for an account of 
which see history of that organization. The number of 
organizations in the county at the present time is eleven, 
and the number of communicants about three thousand. 

There are other churches of various denominations, the 
history of which will be found in their respective towns. 



Turnpike and Plank Roads — Canals — Railways — Steam Navigation 
— Telegraph Lines — Customs. 

The earliest means of transportation in St. Lawrence 
County were bridle-paths and the primitive canoe and 
bateau. The former led into the county from various di- 
rections : from Rome and Utioa vici Oswego and JeiFerson 
counties and down the Black river valley, and thence from 
Carthage, or the Long Falls, and Watertown northward 
across the country lying between the waters of Black river 
and the Oswegatchie and Indian rivers to the various set- 
tlements. Another route was from the lower waters of Lake 
Champlain westward through the wilderness, crossing the 
Chateaugay, St. Regis, Raquette, and Grasse rivers. A 
favorite water route from New England was down the 
Sorel or St. John's from Lake Champlain to the St. Law- 
rence, and thence up the latter stream by the laborious 
route over the various rapids. Canoes and bateaux were 
used on the St. Lawrence and all the interior streams, 
wherever a few miles of water navigation relieved the toil- 
some labor of the bridle-paths and early roads. 

Following these, at a very early date, came the Stat« 
roads and turnpikes ; later still plank-roads and projects for 
various canals ; and, lastly, railways and steam navigation 
on the water routes. This chapter includes Dr. Hough's 
account of the various means of locomotion and transporta- 
sion down to 1853, from which date it has been brought 
forward through the diifercnt changes and improvements to 
the year 1877, and made as complete as possible. 


Attention was early directed towards opening a southern 
route from St. Lawrence County, and a law of April 1, 
1808, made provision for this by taxing the lands through 
which it passed for a road from Canton to Chester, in Essex 
county, and by several acts of 1810 to 1814, a further sum 
was appropriated for this purpose, and the road was opened 
under the direction of Russell Atwater, but was little 
traveled, and soon fell into disuse. June 19, 1812, a road 
was directed to be opened from near the foot of sloop navi- 
gation of the St. Lawrence to Albany, and again, in 1815, 
a further tax was laid, with which a road was opened by 
Mr. Atwater from Russell southwards and made passable 
for teams, but, like the other, soon fell into decay. Previous 
to 1810 the land proprietors had, by subscription, built a 
bridge over the Saranac, which was swept away by a flood, 
and commenced opening a road to Hopkinton, to aid which a 
law of April 5, 1810, imposed a tax on the adjacent lands, 
and appointed two commissioners to repair and construct a 
road from the northwest bay to Hopkinton. In 1812, '16, 
and '24 a further tax was laid. The several towns were to 
be taxed four years for its support, and it was then to be 
assumed as a highway.* A road was constructed and for 

» Prom August, 1819, to July, 1821, $20,883.62 were paid by the 
State to commissioners of State roads in St. Lawrence County, and 
for several years, from 1814 forward, $10,000 per annum were appro- 



some time traveled, but had so fallen into decay as to be 
scarcely passable. The several towns, about 1850-53, 
undertook to reopen it as a highway, and considerable 
sums were expended. 

In April, 1816, commissioners were appointed to lay out 
a road from Ogdensburg by way of Hamilton to Massena, 
from Massena through Potsdam to Eussell, and from Rus- 
sell through Columbia village to Hamilton, at the expense 
of the adjacent lands. April 16, 1827, John Richards, 
Ezra Thuber, and Jonah Sanford were directed to survey 
and level a route for a road from Lake Champlain to Hop- 
kinton, and in 1829 $25,836 was applied for its construc- 
tion. When done the governor was to appoint three com- 
missioners to erect toll-gates and take charge of the road, 
which was soon after completed, and in 1833 a line of 
stages started between Port Kent and Hopkinton. This 
road is still used, the gates having for many years been 
taken down, and it has been and is of essential benefit to 
the country. An act of April 18, 1828, directed a road to 
be opened from Canton to Antwerp, at the expense of the 
adjacent lands. 

Several other special provisions have been made for roads 
in the two counties. The first turnpike was made by the 
"St. Lawrence Turnpike Company," incorporated April 5, 
1810, and consisting of the principal land-owners. It was 
designed to run from Carthage to Malone, and was opened 
by Russell Atwater, as agent for the company. In 1813 
it was relieved from the obligation of finishing it beyond 
the line of Bangor east, or the Oswegatchie State road west. 
After the war the road lost its importance, and in 1829 
was divided into road districts. It still bears the name of 
the Russell turnpike. The " Ogdensburg Turnpike Com- 
pany" was formed June 8, 1812, when D. Parish, L. Has- 
brouck, N. Ford, J. Rosseel, Charles Hill, Ebenezer Legro, 
and their associates, were incorporated with $50,000 capi- 
tal, and soon after built what is since mostly a plank-road 
from Wilna to Ogdensburg, by way of Rossie. In April, 
1826, the road was abandoned to the public. The " Par- 
ishville Turnpike Company" was incorporated February 5, 
1813, when D. Parish, N. Ford, L. Hasbrouck, J. Tibbetts, 
Jr., B. Raymond, and Daniel Hoard were empowered to 
build, with a capital of $50,000, the present direct road 
from Ogdensburg through Canton and Potsdam to Parish- 
ville. In March, 1827, this road was given up to the towns 
through which it passed, and in April, 1831, the part be- 
tween Ogdensburg and Canton was directed to be improved 
by a tax upon the three towns of $500 for two years, to 
be expended by a commissioner named in each town. With 
this sum and tolls collected for its support an excellent 
road was kept up. In 1850 the route was directed to be 
planked, and a sum not exceeding $10,000 was allowed to 
be borrowed on six years' time, upon the credit of the tolls, 
and incidentally upon the credit of Ogdensburg village, 
Lisbon, and Canton. This has mostly been done. 


This class of roads has gone out of use mostly after 

priated for bridges by tbe supervisors and levied on tbe county but 
distributed to tbose towns having the most important structures. 
Large amounts were also paid by the towns for similar purposes. 

having had a brief existence, during which they served a 
very useful purpose. In districts where timber is abun- 
dant and labor cheap, they will probably continue in use 
until the increase in population and scarcity of timber 
make it necessary to construct something more permanent 
and durable. In St. Lawrence County we believe plank- 
roads have ceased to exist, but as a part of the history of 
the past, a short account of them is deemed of sufficient 
importance for insertion in this work. The following items 
are from Dr. Hough's work. Most of the old plank-road 
beds have been adopted for turnpike and common roads, 
and considerable portions of them graveled and otherwise 
improved. Several of the graveled turnpikes are toll roads. 

A road from Ogdensburg to Heuvelton, having been in- 
corporated by a special act, was opened in September, 1849. 
Capital, $5000, with privilege of increasing to $20,000. 
Its earnings have been about $2000 annually.* The 
" Gouverneur, Somerville and Antwerp Company," like the 
following, was formed under the general law. It was or- 
ganized December 30, 1848, and finished September, 1850. 
Length, 12 miles 124 rods; capital, $13,000. Six miles 
of this road are in Jefferson county. First Directors, C. 
P. Egbert, S. B. Van Duzee, Gilbert Wait, Nathaniel L. 
Gill ; Treasurer, Martin Thatcher ; Secretary, Charles An- 
thony. The " Gouverneur, Richville and Canton Plank- 
Road" company's road extends from the village of Gouv- 
erneur to the line of Canton. Formed July 6, 1849 ; 
length, 16 miles; capital, $16,000. Its first officers were 
Wm. E. Sterling, S. B. Van Duzee, John Smith, J. Bur- 
nett, E. Miner, T. Caldwell, directors ; E. Miner, president ; 
Wm. E. Sterling, treasurer; C. A. Parker, secretary. 

The " Canton Plank-Road," a continuation of the latter 
road, extending from the village of Canton to the town-line 
of De Kalb, was built under a special act, passed March 
24, 1849, which authorized a tax in the town of Canton, 
of $6000 for the first year and $1500 annually for three 
successive years afterwards, for constructing the road, which 
was to be owned by the town. Hiram S. Johnson, James 
P. Cummings, and Benjamin Squire were named as com- 
missioners to locate the road. The net earnings, after keep- 
ing the road in repair and repaying money borrowed for 
its construction, were to be applied to the support of roads 
and bridges in town. Luman Moody, Theodore Caldwell, 
and Joseph J. Herriman were appointed commissioners to 
build the road and superintend it after its completion. 

The " Canton, Morley and Madrid Plank-Road Com- 
pany," formed January, 1851 ; road finished August, 1851 ; 
length Hi miles. Silas H. Clark, Alfred Goss, H. Hods- 
kin, J. C. Harrison, E. Miner, R. Harrison, A. S. Robinson, 
first directors. 

The " Potsdam Plank-Road Company" was formed 
Oct. 17, 1850 ; length, 5 miles 154 rods, from Potsdam 
village to the Northern railroad ; cost, $6439.43 ; finished 
Oct. 8, 1851 ; divided 8 per cent. ; dividend, July 1, 1852. 
First directors, John McCall, Robert McGill, John Bur- 
roughs, Jr., Stephen Given, Jr., Benjamin G. Baldwin. 

The " Hammonton, Rossie and Antwerp Plank-Road 
Company," formed Jan. 23, 1850 ; completed in December 

'■'' Now a toll turnpike. 



Mowing; length, 20 miles; capital, $35,000; 7 miles are 
in Jefferson county. Directors, Ira Hinsdale, E. Brainerd, 
Z. Gates, A. P. Morse, and D. W. Baldwin. 

The " Morristown and Hammond Plank-Road Company," 
a continuation of the former, was laid along the route of 
the former road, and through a country which offered but 
few obstacles to its construction. President and Treasurer, 
Moses Birdsall; Secretary, Henry Hooker. Length, lOJ 
miles; capital, $10,000, in 200 shares of $50 each ; organ- 
ized in July, 1851 ; completed in May, 1852. This, with 
the preceding, forms a continuous plank-road communica- 
tion with routes leading to Utica, Rome, Watertown, etc., 
and terminating on the St. Lawrence river, in the village 
of Morristown. 

The " Heuvelton and Canton Falls (now Rensselaer 
Falls) Plank-Road Company," as originally organized, had 
a length of about 10 miles. It has been continued to the 
road from Canton to Hermon by the same company, and 
twelve chains on that road to meet a plank-road, since con- 
structed, from the town-line of Canton, through the village 
of Hermon. The first directors were Henry Van Rensse- 
laer (president), Elijah B. Allen, E. N. Fairchild, D. Simp- 
son, and John ShuU, Jr. The office of the company is in 
Ogdensburg, at the land-office of Mr. Van Rensselaer, who 
is the principal owner of the road. Through a part of the 
distance it was laid through unsettled lands, which have 
thus been brought directly into market and opened for 

The " Hermon Plank-Road Company" was formed 
March 1, 1851. David W. Weeks, Seymour Thatcher, 
Edward Maddock, L. H. Sheldon, Noah C. Williams, were 
the first directors. Capital, $4000, in shares of $50 each, 
and the length of the road is 4J miles. It extends from 
the village of Marshville to the town-line of Canton, where 
it connects with the Canton Falls plank-road to Ogdensburg. 
The road was finished about July 1, 1852. It has been 
proposed to extend this road on to Edwards, and thence 
through to Carthage, in Jefferson county. 

The " Heuvelton and De Kalb Plank-Road Company" 
was organized Feb. 6, 1849, and extended to intersect the 
Gouverneur and Canton plank-road at a point three miles 
east of Richville. Its length is about 1 3 miles. The first 
directors were William H. Cleghorn, William Thurston, 
John Pickens, R. W. Judson, Pelatiah Stacey, Andrew 
Roulston, Lewis Sanford. 

The " Norfolk, Raymondville and Massena Plank-Road 
Company" was organized Feb. 14, 1851, to be completed 
in 1852. Length, 10 miles 44 chains ; capital, $8500, in 
170 shares of $50 each. It is a continuation of the Pots- 
dam road. It forms a direct communication between the 
railroad and several thriving villages. Uriah H. Orvis, G. 
J. Hall, N. F. Reals, C. Sackrider, B. G. Baldwin, E. D. 
Ransom, Hiram Atwater, Justus Webber, and Marcus 
Robins were first directors; U. H. Orvis, president; G. J. 
Hall, secretary. 


" We hear no more the clanging hoof, 
And the stage-coach rattling by, 
For the sten,m-king rules the traveled world, 
' And the old' pike's left to die ! 

The grass creeps o'er the flinty path, 

And the stealthy daisies steal 
Where once the stage^ horse, day by day, 

Lifted his iron heel. 

" No more the weary stager dreads 

The toil of the coming morn ; 
No more the bustling landlord runs 

At the Bound of the echoing horn ; 
And the dust lies still upon the road, 

And bright-eyed children play 
Where once the clattering hoof and wheel 

Rattled along the way. 

" No more we hear the cracking whip, 

And the strong wheel's rumbling sound; 
But, ah ! the water drives us on, 

And an iron horse is found ! 
The coach stands rusting in the yard, 

The horse has sought the plow , 
We have spanned the world with an iron rail, 

And the steam-king rules us now ! 

" The old turnpike is a pike no more, 

Wide open stands the gate ; 
We have made a road for our horse to stride, 

And we ride at a flying rate. 
We have filled the valleys and leveled the hills 

And tunneled the mountain's side, 
And round the rough crag's dizzy verge 

Fearless now we ride. 

" Go — on — on — with a hearty front ! 

A puflF, a shriek, and a bound, 
While the tardy echoes wake too late 

To echo back the sound. 
And the old pike-road is left alone, 

And stagers seek the plow ; 
We have circled the earth with an iron rail, 

And the steam-king rules us now !" 


From an early period attempts were made to improve the 
navigation of the St. Lawrence, and in an act of April 1, 
1808, J. Waddington, D. A. and T. L. Ogden, were au- 
thorized to build a canal and locks at Hamilton, and to col- 
lect toll, at the rate of twenty-five cents per ton, on all boats 
passing. Locks to be fifty feet long, ten feet wide, and 
deep enough to receive boats having two feet draught. 
Under this act tolls were authorized to be collected at the 
rate of twenty-five cents per ton for large boats, and double 
that rate for all boats under two tons capacity. The im- 
provements were to be completed within three years. A 
wooden look was first attempted, but before being com- 
pleted its foundations were undermined and it was aban- 
doned. In 1811 and 1815, the act was extended, and 
finally a stone lock was built in the line of the stone dam, 
which proved of little use, as its dimensions only allowed 
the passage of Durham boats. The era of steamboats fol- 
lowed, and the Canadian government assuming the task of 
building locks and canals around the principal rapids, work 
on the American side was given up. An effort was made 
to secure the advantages of a portion of the trade by con- 
structing a canal to Grasse river, but it was never carried out. 

The north shore has always been chosen by voyageurs^ 
and the difficulty of crossing over to these looks would have 
rendered their use limited. On the 5th of April, 1809, 
means were provided for carrying into effect a concurrent 



resolution of March 27, directing the surveyor-general to 
authorize some competent person to survey the St. Law- 
rence, and report. By an act of April 9, 1811, Russell 
Atwater and Roswell Hopkins were appointed to expend 
$600 on the American shore from St. Regis to the Indian 
village in Lisbon. It is believed that a towing-path was 
made along the shore in places, at an early day, and proba- 
bly with this appropriation. In 1833, the subject of cutting 
a canal from the head of Long Saut to Grasse river was 
pressed upon the legislature, and a subscription raised to pro- 
cure a survey. Grasse river was considered navigable to 
within three miles of Jlassena village, and there intervened 
a ravine and low land, which it was found required a canal 
of six miles, one mile of which was through gravel and 
clay a depth of thirty-five feet. The fall from the head of 
the Saut to Lake St. Francis was found to be fifty feet. 
Estimated cost, $200,000. It was stated that in 1833 
$48,000 was paid for cartage and towage past the Long 
Saut, and the cost of towing one boat amounted to |500 
per annum. The subject was also urged upon Congress by 
a convention at Canton, Dec. 18, 1833, and D. C. Judson, 
Wm. Ogden, N. F. Hyer, H. Allen, and M. Whitoomb 
were appointed to circulate petitions. Nothing was eifected 
or afterwards attempted, as the Canadian government soon 
after undertook this labor, 

" The Oswegatchie Navigation Company'' was incorpo- 
rated April 25, 1831, for the purpose of improving, by 
means of locks, canals, and dams, its navigation to Black 
lake and to the town of Gouverneur, and from the Oswe- 
gatchie river, along the natural canal, to Grasse river, and 
up to Canton village. Capital to be $50,000, and Sylvester 
Gilbert, Jacob A. Vanden Heuvel, Smith Stilwell, and Louis 
Hasbrouck were appointed a board of commissioners to re- 
ceive subscriptions. A certain portion of the work was to 
be accomplished within five years, and the duration of the 
corporation was limited to thirty years. 

The previous act was renewed April 25, 1836, and con- 
tinued in force thirty years. Baron S. Doty, Silvester Gil- 
bert, Jacob A. Vanden Heuvel, Smith Stilwell, Henry Van 
Rensselaer, and B. M. Fairchild were named commissioners 
to receive stock. Unless they met within three months the 
act was to be void. In 1835 the capital stock was increased 
to $100,000. R. Harrison, D. C. Judson, S. Gilbert, H. Van 
Rensselaer, E. Dodge, A. Sprague, and S. D. Moody were 
named commissioners to receive subscriptions. No actual 
improvements were ever undertaken under these acts. In 
the petition which procured the passage of the above act It 
was stated that at Heuvelton locks had been commenced, 
and might be completed at small expense ; that the expense 
of dams and locks to improve the natural channel of the 
Oswegatchie would not cost to exceed $12,000 ; and that a 
steamboat might be built for $5000, sufficient to meet the 
business of the proposed company. The fall on Grasse 
river at Canton is stated to be nine feet, and at Cooper's 
fall in De Kalb, on the Oswegatchie river, as eight feet 
which being overcome by locks would render the latter 
river navigable as far as the Ox Bow, in Jefferson county. A 
dam across Grasse river, and a short canal near the eastern 
end of the natural canal, would bring Canton in navigable 
communication with the St. Lawrencs at 0"-densbur»-. 

The plan of extending the Black river canal to Ogdens- 
burg was brought forward in 1839, and a survey executed 
by Edward H. Brodhead, which is published in the legis- 
lative documents of 1840, embraced the several improve- 
ments above proposed. 

Several acts have been passed for preventing the obstruc- 
tion of the channels of our rivers, by declaring them pvLlic 
highways. Raquette river, from its mouth to Norfolk, and 
St. Regis, from the province line to the east line of Stock- 
holm, were so declared April 15, 1810. April 16, 1816, 
the Oswegatchie was made a highway to Streeter's Mills, in 
Rossie, and its obstruction forbidden under a penalty of 
$100. By a subsequent act this limit was extended to 
Cranberry lake. 

An act of 1849, for improving the sources of the Hudson 
for lumbering purposes, led in 1850 to petitions for grants 
to be expended on Raquette and Moose rivers. These were 
referred to a select committee, who, through their chairman, 
Mr. Henry J. Raymond, made a very elaborate report, set- 
ting forth the advantages of the improvements, and de- 
scribing the wonderful natural water communication of the 
primitive wilderness of northern New York. This elevated 
plateau, averaging 1500 to 1870 feet above tide, gives origin 
to rivers flowing in different directions. The Raquette, 
after a crooked and sluggish course through several large 
ponds, and receiving tributaries navigable for logs from 
many lakes in the interior, on arriving within fifty miles of 
the St. Lawrence becomes rapid, and descends to near the 
level of that river before reaching Massena. In a multi- 
tude of places it affords fine, cascades for hydraulic purposes, 
especially in the villages of Colton,East Pierrepont, Potsdam, 
Racketville, Norfolk, and Raymondville, with many inter- 
vening places. There is a peculiarity of this river that de- 
serves special notice, which is its little liability to be affected 
by drought and flood, in consequence of its being fed from 
lakes. The highest water commonly occurs several days later 
-in this than the neighboring rivers, and a prudent policy 
should lead to the erection of sluices and floodgates at the 
outlet of the lakes to retain the excess of the spring flood 
against any want that might occur in the drought of sum- 
mer. Such a want has not hitherto been felt, but might if 
the interior country were cleared and cultivated. An act was 
passed April 10, 1850, declaring the Raquette a highway 
from its mouth to the foot of Raquette lake, in Hamilton 
county, and on the 9th of April an appropriation of $10,000 
was made, to be expended by H. Hewitt, A. T. Hopkins, 
and C. Russell, in removing obstructions and improving the 
channel. These consisted in shutting up lost channels 
and straits around islands, in the erection of piera, dams, 
booms, etc. 

The accession of capital and employment of labor from 
this improvement is remarkable. But one gang-mill ex- 
isted on the river at the time of the passage of the law, 
while in 1853 there were either in operation or in course of 
erection eight, and still more contemplated. The logs sawed 
at these are brought from the country adjoining Tapper's 
lake. Long lake, in Hamilton county, many of the lakes 
and streams of Franklin county, and from the western 
borders of Essex county. 

Much credit is due to Dr. H. Hewitt, of Potsdam, for 



exertions in procuring this improvement, and to Messrs. 
Wm. A. Dart, of the senate, and Noble S. Elderkin, of 
the assembly, for the zeal and ability with which they sus- 
tained the measure. 

The first attempt to open a cheap and direct communica- 
tion between the navigable waters of the St. Lawrence and 
the sea-board began in 1823, and arose from the wants 
which had been so severely felt during the war. A year 
or two after the peace, plans for uniting Lake Champlain 
with the Connecticut were discussed and attempted. Judge 
Raymond and Benjamin Wright, while surveying the coun- 
try before its settlement, had formed projects for improving 
the natural channels of the rivers, and to them belongs the 
merit of the idea. The former was afterwards the ardent 
advocate of a canal. A meeting of the citizens of Clinton, 
Franklin, and St. Lawrence counties convened at Ogdens- 
burg, Aug. 28, 1823, to concert measures for a canal, who 
appointed B. Raymond, of Norfolk, S. Partridge, of Pots- 
dam, J. A. Vanden Heuvel, of Ogdensburg, Wm. Hogan, of 
Fort Covington, Thomas Smith, of Chateaugay, and Asa 
Hascall, of Malone, who prepared and published a lengthy 
report for distribution in the sections most to be benefited 
by the work. It was accompanied by a report from Judge 
Raymond, who had been employed to make a preliminary 
survey. This improvement proposed to use the Oswe- 
gatchie. Natural canal, and Grasse river to Canton. The 
petitions and the friendly influences towards these works 
led to an act for a survey under the direction of the canal 
commissioners, and Holmes Hutchinson, of Utica, was em- 
ployed. The expense was limited to $1500. The summit 
was found to be 811 feet above the St. Lawrence at Og- 
densburg, and 966 above Lake Champlain. This work 
was commended to the legislature by De Witt Clinton in his 
annual message of 1825, but was found impracticable, and 


A railroad began to be discussed in 1829, and a full 
meeting was held Feb. 17, 1830, at Montpelier, Vt., for 
promoting a railroad from Ogdensburg, by way of Lake 
Champlain and the valleys of Onion and Connecticut rivers, 
and through Concord and Lowell, to Boston. A committee, 
previously appointed, reported favorably on the plan and 
its advantages, and estimated that passengers and heavy 
freight could be taken over the whole route in 35 hours. 
They further predicted that 15 miles an hour would here- 
after be performed by locomotives. On the 17th of March, 
1830, a similar meeting was held at Ogdensburg, and a com- 
mittee of twelve appointed to collect information and report 
to a future meeting. Application was also made to Con- 
gress for aid in constructing the work, but this failing, 
petitions were next forwarded to the State legislature, and a 
convention met at Malone, Dec. 17, 1831, to promote this 
object. This failed, but was prosecuted until May 21, 
1836. The Lake Champlain and Ogdensburg railroad was 
incorporated with a capital of $800,000. S. Gilbert and S. 
Stilwell, of St. Lawrence, B. Clark and J. Stearns, of 
Franklin, with two from each of the counties of Clinton 
and Essex, and James H. Titus, of New York, were em- 
powered to open books for receiving stock. Some declining 
to act, a law of May 16, 1837, appointed Wm. H. Harri- 

son, of New York, Wm. P. Haile, of Clinton, D. L. Sey- 
mour, of Franklin, and J. L. Russell, of St. Lawrence, in 
their place. About this time the plan of a railroad from 
Ogdensburg directly through to Albany was discussed. A 
convention met, Feb. 27, 1837, at Matildaville, for this ob- 
ject. The moneys subscribed for the road to Lake Cham- 
plain were first reloaned, and afterwards refunded to sub- 
scribers. This company failing to organize, a convention 
met at Malone, Aug. 8, 1838, and persons appointed to 
collect statistics. These measures led to an act of April 18, 
1838, authorizing a survey, which was executed by Edward 
F. Johnson, and the expense was limited to $4000. On 
May 14, 1840, commissioners were appointed to survey and 
estimate the cost of a railroad by the several routes, and 
the public documents of 1841 contain the results. Both of 
the lines surveyed passed southeast through the county and 
penetrated the wilderness. The Port Kent route passed 
up the valley of the Ausable and down the St. Regis, and 
thence, by way of Parishville and Potsdam, to Ogdens- 
burg. Length, 131 miles; summit, 1733 feet above tide; 
cost, $2,714,003.89; maximum grade, 95 feet going east and 
90 feet going west ; least radius of curve, 800 feet. The 
Plattsburg route led to Malone and Moira, whence a route 
by Norfolk and Columbia, and one by Potsdam, was sur- 
veyed. Summit, 1089 feet; distance by Norfolk, 120, 
and by Potsdam 122 miles ; cost of the Norfolk line, 
$1,778,459 24; of the Potsdam route, $1,923,108.09; 
maximum grade of both, 40 feet; least radius, 1300 feet. In 
connection with this report was given the probable cost of 
improving the rivers and Natural canal, the aggregate of 
which was $305,982. A convention met at Malone Deo. 
22, 1840, who, through a committee, memorialized the 
legislature, and procured the opinions of several military 
men on the importance of the route as of national use in 
case of war. 

This measure failed to become a law. Nothing discour- 
raged, the friends of this improvement continued active, 
and finding it impossible to obtain assistance from the State, 
began to importune for the privilege of helping themselves; 
and here they were met by the poweri'ul opposition of the 
friends of the central routes, which was conciliated by their 
being themselves brought to the necessity of feeling the 
want of votes to carry one of their measures. In the ses- 
sion of 1845, Messra. Hiram Horton, John L. Russell, and 
Asa L. Hazelton representing these two counties, a bill was 
introduced and early passed the assembly, but was delayed 
in the senate till near the close of the session. At this 
time not less than fourteen railroad bills were before the 
legislature, among which was one for increasing the capital 
of the Syracuse and Utica road. It was partly through 
the influence of the friends of this road, who found them- 
selves forced to help, in order to be helped, that the bill 
finally passed, receiving the governor's signature but twenty 
minutes before the adjournment. This act passed May 14, 
1845, incorporating 


for fifty years, with a capital of $2,000,000, in .shares of $50, 
and naming David C. Judson and Joseph Barnes, of St. 
Lawrence, S. C. Wead, of Franklin, and others from Clin- 



ton and Essex counties and New York, commissioners to 
receive and distribute stock. 

Measures were taken to raise the means for a survey, and 
in the fall of 1845 a delegation visited Boston to induce 
capitalists to undertake the work. They were advised to 
return and raise along the road as much as possible first, 
which was done; but, in their absence, about $10,000,000 
of railroad stock had been taken, and their chances for suc- 
cess were much lessened. To set forth the advantages of 
the route, Mr. James G. Hopkins, of Ogdensburg, in 1845, 
published a pamphlet containing many documents and 
statistics relating to the matter. It is but justice to state 
that not only these estimates but those that preceded them 
were, so far as relates to the resources of the country, far 
below what time has developed. The Burlington people, 
and those interested in the lines of New England roads 
connecting with Lake Champlain, early perceived the ad- 
vantages that would ensue from a line which would turn a 
portion of the resources of the great west through their 
channels. In July, 1846, Mr. James Hayward, an expe- 
rienced engineer, who, since 1828, had had his attention 
directed to this route, was employed to survey the route, 
who did so and reported. 

In June, 1846, a company was organized at Ogdensburg, 
having George Parish, president ; J. Leslie Russell, of Can- 
ton, Hiram Horton, of Malone, Anthony C. Brown, of Og- 
densburg, Lawrence Myers, of Plattsburg, Charles Paine, 
of Northfield, Vt., S. F.. Belknap, of Windsor, Vt., Isaac 
Spalding, of Nashua, N. H., and Abbot Lawrence, J. Wiley 
Edmonds, Benjamin Reed, T. P. Chandler, and S. S. Lewis, 
of Boston, directors; S. S. Walley, treasurer; and James 
G. Hopkins, secretary. In the fall of 1847, a contract was 
taken by Sewall P. Belknap for the portion east of Malone, 
and by Chamberlain, Worral & Co., to be completed within 
two years. Work was begun in March, 1848, at the deep 
cutting in Ogdensburg, and in the fall of that year was 
opened to Centreville from Champlain river. Late in 1849 
it had reached Ellenburg ; in June, 1850, Chateaugay; 
October 1, Malone; and in the same month through ; the 
last work being done near Deer river bridge, in Lawrence. 

From their report of 1852 it is learned that this road has 
cost, including fixtures and equipment, $5,022,121.31, and 
possesses very ample facilities for the transaction of the im- 
mense amount of business in the freight department. Amount 
of land owned in July, 1851, 3077i acres, exclusive of 
roadway. Its buildings at that date were as follows: 
Wharves, docks, and piers at Ogdensburg, 4534 feet; 
at Rouse's Point, 165 feet wharf and a pier of 1650, which 
has since become a part of the bridge across Lake Cham- 
plain. Freight and passenger station at Ogdensburg, 305 
by 84 feet. One freight-house at ditto, 402 by 82 feet ; 
fire-proof engine-house for six locomotives, and numerous 
other buildings. Among these, the grain warehouse and 
elevator deserves notice. It is built on piles in 14-feet 
water, and contains 42 bins, each 30 feet deep, and capable 
of holding 4000 bushels each, or 12 tons of wheat. All 
these deliver their grain on one track by spouts, and each 
can load a car with 10 tons in eight or ten minutes the 
load being weighed on a platform-scale in the track. The 
elevators are driven by a steam-engine of 15-horse power 

and raise daily 16,000 to 18,000 bushels, which is weighed 
as received in draughts of 30 bushels, and spouted into cars 
or raised into the bins if stored. The cars are sent in on 
one track and out on another, being changed by a traverse- 
table. Vessels laden with grain on the upper lakes are here 
unloaded with great facility, and the establishment is found 
to be eminently useful in promoting the business of the 
road. It was erected by N. Taggert, after plans by P. 
Pelletier, the draftsman of the company, who has kindly 
furnished the above data. 

This building was burned in 1865, and two grain-houses 
were erected in its stead, and these were pulled down in 
1877. The present extensive elevator was erected under 
the superintendence of Mr. Abraham Klohs, assistant super- 
intendent of the road, and also an acting engineer. It has 
a storage capacity of 600,000 bushels of grain, and is ar- 
ranged in a manner similar to the one destroyed in 1865 
including two tracks and a traverse-table. The company's 
facilities for handling grain-produce, and all descriptions of 
freight, are unsurpassed. 

At Lisbon, Madrid, Potsdam, Stockholm, Lawrence, 
Moira, Bangor, Champlain, and Hoyle's Landing are depots 
50 by 100 feet ; at Brush's Mills, 80 by 35 feet ; at Cha- 
teaugay, 200 by 55 ; a passenger-station, 37 by 26 ; and a 
wood- and water-station, 330 by 35 feet ; at Rouse's Point, 
a passenger- and freight-house, 500 by 104 feet ; a station- 
house and hotel, 78 by 50 ; repair-shop, 175 by 80 feet ; 
and numerous other buildings. Since the date of the last 
report before us, depots have been built at Knapp's, Burke, 
Malone, and other places. 

Many of the station-buildings have been rebuilt or ma- 
terially changed, and new and very substantial ones of brick 
erected at Ogdensburg and Chateaugay. 

Much opposition was met from the eiForts made by the 
company to procure the right of bridging Lake Champlain, 
to enable it to connect with the eastern roads ; and in the 
sessions of 1850, a special committee, consisting of Wm. A. 
Dart, George Geddes, and Robert Owens, Jr., was appointed, 
who, in the recess of the legislature, visited the locaUty, and 
reported. An attempt was made to excite the jealousies of 
New York against Boston, but an expression was obtained 
from the leading interests of that city disclaiming this, and 
concurring in the proposed improvement, and among the 
objections urged were the obstruction to navigation, the 
diversion from the trade of the canals, and consequent loss 
of revenue to the State, and the obstruction it would be to 
the fortress of the United States government north of the 
road and near the boundary. This matter has been since 
decided and a floating draw-bridge constructed, so that 
trains pass freely over without hindrance. 

Since the above paragraph was written a new and more 
substantial bridge has been erected over Lake Champlain. 
It is of wood, built on piles, and has a spacious draw for 
the passage of vessels. 

It is less the amount of travel over this road than that 
of freight that gives it importance. Being remote from the 
great lines of travel, it as yet has not generally attracted that 
notice which it deserves, but when its advantages come to 
be known and appreciated, it cannot fail of drawing a con- 
siderable amount of New England travel going westward. 



The officers of the Northern railroad can boast of one fact 
which few other roads would be able to do, viz., that they 
have never caused the death or injury of a passenger who 
has intrusted himself to their charge! 

During its whole existence there has been only one slight 
collision, which resulted in injuries to a few passengers, but 
none of them of a serious character. This exemption from 
accident is not due to chance, but mainly to the admirable 
precision with which the trains are run, and it is doing in- 
justice to no one to assert that this is principally due to the 
talents and ability of the chief engineers of the road. Every 
employee is instructed in his duties, and no excuses are re- 
ceived for any violation or neglect of them. This inexorable 
rule has its advantages, which are felt and approved by all 
concerned ; and it is said that men can be employed in run- 
ning trains at less wages on this than on many other roads, 
from the feeling of security resulting from these arrange- 

In 1870 the road was leased to the " Central Vermont 
railway company" for a period of twenty years, at an annual 
rental of $384,620 for three years, $415,390 for the next 
three y^ars, and $446,160 the remainder of the term, pay- 
able monthly ; the company to keep the road in good repair. 

These obligations not having been fulfilled, the property 
was taken possession of by the owners in 1877. The name 
was changed, under the provisions of a new charter, some 
years since, to the present one, — " Ogdensburg and Lake 
Champlain railroad company." 

The following table shows the classes, and amount in 
tons, of freight handled and transported during the last 
year, ending Sept. 30, 1877 : 


Products of the forest 76,840 

■Animals 13,428 

Vegetable food 27,400 

Other agricultural products 69,494 

Manufactures 10,728 

Merchandise 12,696 

Other articles 31,005 

Total ;241,591 

Total earnings of the road for the year ending Sept. 30, 

1877 $516,938.30 

Total expenses 284,654.85 

Number of passengers, all classes, carried 118,640 

Average weight of passenger trains, exclusive of passengers, — 

tons 65 

Average weight of freight trains, exclusive of freight 206 

This road has connections by ferry with the Grand Trunk 
and the St. Lawrence and Ottawa lines at Prescott. Freight 
is transported across the river without breaking bulk. Ex- 
tensive shops for the manufacture and repair of rolling-stock 
were erected by the company some years since, near the east 
line of the city. In full running order they employed 100 
men, and turned out a finished car per day, and repaired as 
high as 700 cars per month. The manufacturing depart- 
ment is not now in operation, and only a limited amount of 
repairing is done. 

The officers of the company are : John C. Pratt, presi- 
dent; Henry A. Church, secretary and treasurer; John C. 
Pratt, Boston ; John S. Farlow, Boston ; George M. Bar- 
nard, Boston; I. D. Farnsworth, Boston; Francis Cox, 
Boston; Theodore A. Neal, Boston; George Lewis, Bos- 
ton ; Thomas Upham, Boston ; Henry A. Church, Boston ; 
Samuel M. Felton, Philadelphia ; William J. Averill, Og- 

densburg ; C. T. Hulburd, Brasher Falls ; Albert Andrus, 
Malone ; W. W. Hungerford, Ogdensburg, superintendent. 
The superintendents of the road from the beginning 
have been Charles L. Schlatter, Geo. V. Hoyle, Harvey 
Rice, De Witt C. Brown, and the present incumbent, W. 
W. Hungerford. 


originated from the dissatisfaction felt by Potsdam and 
Canton in not having the Northern railroad pass through 
their villages. Soon after the Rome and Cape Vincent 
railroad was opened, the want of a connecting link with the 
Northern road began to be felt, and it became an object of 
importance to decide whether this should connect at Og- 
densburg, and run along the St. Lawrence, or at a point 
east of this, and through the interior of the county. In 
July, 1851, a convention met at Watertown, and persons 
appointed to collect the means for a survey ; Mr. E. H. 
Brodhead employed, and at a meeting held at Gouverneur, 
on Jan. 8, 1852, this report and survey were rendered, and 
a company formed the next day, under the general law of 
the State. In no place will the route vary three miles 
from a direct line ; the grades will not exceed 36.96 feet 
to the mile ; and, with one exception, the shortest radius of 
curve does not exceed 2000 feet. Length, 69 miles ; esti- 
mated cost, $293,721.50, for grading and bridging ; besides, 
$6000 per mile for superstructure. A route was surveyed 
to Sacket's Harbor in connection with this. 

From this time vigorous efforts were made to secure a 
sufiicient amount of stock to commence the construction of 
the road, and by an act passed April 7, 1852, the company 
was authorized, whenever the subscription to the capital 
stock should amount to $5000 per mile, to exercise the 
powers, rights, and privileges usually possessed by a com- 
pany incorporated under the general act. This act was 
considered necessary in this case in order to secure the 
right of way, and made contracts for the same. In Oct., 
1852, the sum of $750,000 having been subscribed, the 
directors felt themselves warranted in entering into a con- 
tract for the making of the road, and accordingly contracted 
with Phelps, Matoon & Barnes, of Springfield, Mass., by 
whom the road was to be completed July 1, 1854. 

This road, passing through a comparatively level section, 
was constructed at much less expense than many other roads 
in the State, and opened up an extensive and quite wealthy 
and populous country. It is now operated under the con- 
trol of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg company, 
one of the best managed and most prosperous in the State, 
and having excellent connections in all directions. The 
principal stations on this line are Gouverneur, De Kalb, 
Canton, and Potsdam. At Potsdam junction it makes con- 
nections with the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain-road, 
and at Philadelphia, in Jefierson county, with the Utica 
and Black River road. 

The Ogdensburg Branch, now the main line, was put in 
operation in September, 1862, and soon became a great 
thoroughfare. The stations are De Kalb, Rensselaer Falls 
Heuvelton, and Ogdensburg. Extensive shipments of lum 
ber and live-stock are made from Ogdensburg, and the 
dairy products of the county largely pass over this line to 



southern markets. Among the earlier oflGtcers of this road 
were 0. V. Brainard, Eli Farwell, Hiram Holcomb, Wm. 
AUaster, Wm. E. Sterling, Edwin Dodge, Barzillai Hod- 
skin, Orville Page, Zenas Clark, Samuel Partridge, Joseph 
H. Sanford, Wm. W. Goulding, A. M. Adsit, Edwin Dodge, 
Daniel Lee, and H. L. Knowles. 


The line at first constructed from Carthage to Morris- 
town was called the Black River and Morristown railroad, 
but was subsequently consolidated with the Utica and Black 
River road. The last-named company are now extending 
their line from Morristown to Ogdensburg, and the present 
intention is upon the completion of this link to change the 
name to Utica, Black River and Ogdensburg railroad. The 
work between Morristown and Ogdensburg is well under 
way, and the line will bo in running order early in the sea- 
son of 1878. When completed it will give Ogdensburg 
and the western portion of St. Lawrence County additional 
and valuable facilities for the transaction of business. To 
the commerce of Ogdensburg it must give a fresh impetus, 
for the city will then have two lines running south and 
west, and an important one to the east, connecting with the 
great lines of the country. An accommodating spirit in 
the management of these three roads would add largely to 
their business, and be of great benefit to the city of Ogdens- 
burg. Close connections are necessary to gain the patron- 
age and confidence of the public, and a union depot at 
some convenient point in the city would be of immense ad- 
vantage to the railway companies, to the city of Ogdens- 
burg, and to the public generally. 


Steamboat navigation was first attempted on the great 
lakes by the building of the Ontario, in 1816, by Charles 
Smyth, David Boyd, Eri Lusher, Abram Van Santvoord, 
John I. De Grafi", and their associates, who, in February, 
1816, made an unsuccessful attempt to secure au incorpora- 
tion as the " Lake Ontario Steamboat Company," with a 
capital of $200,000. In their memorial before us, they 
state that they had purchased of the heirs of Robert R. 
Livingston and Robert Fulton the right to the exclusive 
navigation of the St. Lawrence. Their steamer, which 


is shown in the above illustration, is engraved from a 
drawing by Capt. J. Van Cleve. The boat was 110 feet 
long, 24 wide, 8 deep, and measured 237 tons. She had 
one low-pressure cross-head engine of 34-ineh cylinder and 

4-feet stroke. The latter was made at the Allaire works, 
New York. She was designed to be after the model of the 
Sea Horse, then running on the Sound, near New York, 
and was built mainly under the direction of Hunter Crane, 
one of the owners. The first trip was made in 1817, and 
her arrival was celebrated at all the ports on the lake and 
river with the most extravagant demonstrations of joy, and 
hailed as a new era to the commerce of our inland seas. 
In every village that could muster a cannon, and from every 
steeple that had a bell, went forth a joyous welcome, and 
crowds of eager citizens from the adjoining country thronged 
the shores to salute its arrival. Bonfires and illuminations, 
the congratulations of friends, and the interchange of hos- 
pitalities, signalized the event. The trip from Lewistown 
to Ogdensburg required ten days ; fare, $16 ; deck fare, $8', 
Master, Capt. Mallaby, U.S.N. The Ontario continued 
till 1832, seldom exceeding five miles an hour, and was 
finally broken up at Oswego. The Frontenac, a British 
steamer, at Kingston, and the Walk-in-the- Water, 1818, on 
Lake Erie, followed soon after. 

The Martha Ogden was built at Sacket's Harbor, about 
1819, with Albert Crane managing owner the first season. 
She was lost in a gale off Stony point, and the passengers 
and crew saved by being landed in a basket, drawn back 
and forth on a rope from the wreck to the shore. No one 
was lost, and the engine was recovered and placed in the 
Ontario. The Sophia, originally a schooner, was fitted up 
as a steamer at Sacket's Harbor, at an early day. The 
Rohhins was another small schooner, built over, but never 
did much business. The Black Hawk, built at French 
Creek, by G. S. Weeks, and owned by Smith, Merrick & 
Co., was used several seasons as a packet, and afterwards 
sold to Canadians, and the name changed to The Dolphin. 

The Paul Pry was built at Heuvelton, in 1830, by Paul 
Boynton, for parties in Ogdensburg, and run some time on 
Black lake to Rossie. About 1834, she was passed into 
the St. Lawrence, at great delay and expense, and used as a 
ferry until, from the aff'air at the Windmill, in 1838, she 
became obnoxious to the Canadians, and was run on Black 
River bay afterwards. The Rossie, a small steamer, was 
built near Pope's mills, about 1837, by White & Hooker, 
of Morristown, and ran two seasons on Black lake. This 
was a small affair and proved unprofitable. 

An act of Jan. 28, 1831, incorporated the "Lake 
Ontario Steamboat Company," capital, $100,000 ; dura- 
tion till May, 1850. The affairs were to be managed by 
fifteen directors, and the office to be kept at Oswego. This 
company built the steamer United States, which was 
launched in November, 1831, and came out July 1, 1832, 
under the command of Elias Trowbridge. Length, 142 
feet ; width, 26 feet beam, 55 feet over all ; depth, 10 feet ; 
engines, two low-pressure ones of 40-inch cylinder and 8- 
feet stroke. Cost, $56,000. This steamer, so much in ad- 
vance of anything that had preceded it on the American 
side, ran on the through line till 1831, when, from having 
become obnoxious to the Canadians on account of the use 
made of her at the affair of the Windmill, she was run 
upon the lake only afterwards, and was finally broken up at 
Oswego in 1843, and her engines transferred to the Rochester. 
This was the first and only boat owned by this company. 



The Oswego was built at that place in 1833 ; of 286 
tons ; was used for several seasons on the through line, but 
after running six years the engines were taken out and 
placed in the steamer St. Lawrence. She was changed to 
a sail vessel and lost. The Brownville was built on Black 
river, below the village of that name, in JeflFerson county. 
In going down the St. Lawrence she took fire and was 
burned to the water's edge, but was run on an island, and 
her crew saved. She was afterwards rebuilt, and run 
awhile with the former name, and subsequently lengthened 
at Sacket's Harbor, and her name changed to the William 
Avery. The engines built by William Avery, of Syracuse, 
which had previously been high-pressure, were changed to 
condensing. With a few minor exceptions, there have been 
no high-pressure engines employed on the lake or river ex- 
cept in propellers. In 1834 the William Avery was run 
between Ogdensburg and Niagara, with W. W. Sherman as 
master. She was dismantled in 1835. The Charles Carroll 
was built at Sacket's Harbor, and run from Kingston to 
Rochester in 1834. Afterwards she was rebuilt and length- 
ened at Sacket's Harbor, in the summer of 1834, and her 
name changed to the America. Her engine was high- 
pressure. The America, with D. Howe master, was run- 
ning from Ogdensburg to Lewistown late in the season of 

The Jack Downing was a very small steamer, built by P. 
Boynton, at Carthage, JeiFerson county, in 1834 ; drawn on 
wheels to Sacket's Harbor, launched, fitted up, and intended 
as a ferry at Ogdensburg ; used for this purpose a short time 
at Waddington, and afterwards run from Fort Covington to 
Cornwall. Her engine was in 1837 transferred to the 
Henry Burden, a boat on a novel principle, being supported 
on two hollow cylindrical floats and the wheel between them. 
It was afterwards taken by the Rideau canal to Ogdens- 
burg, and used a short time as a ferry. 

The Oneida, of 227 tons, was built at Oswego, in 1836. 
A. Smith was her first master. Her owners were princi- 
pally Henry Fitzhugh, of Oswego, E. B. Allen and G. N. 
Seymour, of Ogdensburg. In 1838, and during some part 
of 1840, she was in the employ of government. With 
these exceptions, this vessel made regular trips from Og- 
densburg to Lewiston until 1845, when her engine was 
taken out, and she was fitted up as a sail vessel. The engine 
of this boat was afterwards transferred to the steamer British 
Queen, one of the American line of boats from Ogdensburg 
to Montreal. She was subsequently lost on Lake Erie. 
The Telegraph, a steamer having 196 tonnage, was built 
near Dexter, Jefierson county, and first came out in the fall 
of 1836. She was owned by parties in Utica, Watertown, 
and Sacket's Harbor. Sprague was her first captain. She 
was in the employ of government in the fall of 1838, the 
whole of 1839, and some part of the spring of 1840. 
Changed to a sail vessel and burnt on Lake St. Clair. The 
Express was built at Pultneyville, Wayne county, — H. N. 
Throop master, and one of the owners, — about the year 
1839. It was used on the through line for several years, 
and afterwards ran from Lewiston to Hamilton. It was 
finally laid up in 1850. The St. Lawrence, 402 tons, was 
enrolled at Oswego, in 1839, the engines being the same as 
those which had been used in the Oswego. In 1844 she 

was rebuilt, and the tonnage increased to 434 tons. Her 
first trip was performed in June, 1839. Cost about 
$50,000. She was run till 1851, most of the time as one 
of the through line, when she was dismantled at French 
Creek. This is said to have been the first steamer on this 
lake that had state-rooms on the main deck. Length, 180 
feet; beam, 23 feet; hold, 11 feet. In 1839 she was com- 
manded by John Evans ; in 1840-46, by J. Van Cleve. 
Her place on the line was supplied by the Cataract. 

The George Clinton and the President were small boats 
built at Oswego in 1842, and the former was wrecked on 
the south shore of the lake, in 1850. About 1842, a stock 
company called the " Ontario Steam- and Canal-boat Com- 
pany'' was formed at Oswego, who, in 1842, built the Lady 
of the Lake, of 423 tons, G. S. Weeks, builder; used on 
the through line until 1852, when she was chartered as a 
ferry, in connection with the railroad from Cape Vincent to 
Kingston. This was the first American boat on this water 
that had state-rooms on the upper deck. J. J. Taylor was 
her master for several years. The Rochester, built for this 
company by G. S. Weeks, at Oswego, in 1843; of 354 tons, 
and run on the lake and river until 1848, after which she 
ran from Lewiston to Hamilton. In July, 1845, the 
Niagara, of 473 tons, came out, having been the first of a 
series of steamers built at French Creek by J. Oades. Her 
length was 182 feet ; beam, 27 J feet ; total breadth, 47 
feet; hold, 1\ feet. Engine from the Archimedes works, 
with cylinder of 40 inches and 11 feet stroke. Wheels, 30 
feet in diameter. The British Queen was built on Long 
Island, between Clayton and Kingston, in 1846, by Oades, 
the engines being those of the Oneida. Length, 180 feet ; 
beam, 42 feet ; engine double, each cylinder 26 inches in 
diameter. The British Empire was built at the same time 
and place with the last. 

The Cataract came out in July, 1837. She measured 
577 tons, and was commanded the first season by James 
Van Cleve. Length of keel, 202 feet ; breadth of beam, 
27 J feet; breadth across the guards, 48 feet; depth of hold, 
10 feet; diameter of wheels, 30 feet; engines built by H. 
R. Dunham & Co., at the Archimedes works, in New York, 
and the cylinder has a diameter of 44 inches, and a stroke 
of 11 feet; cost about $60,000. She was commanded in 
1847-48, by J. Van Cleve; in 1849-51, by R. B. Chap- 
man ; in 1852, by A. D. Kilby. 

Ontario. Built in the summer of 1847. Length of keel, 
222 feet; of deck, 233 feet ; and over all, 240 feet 6 inches ; 
breadth of beam, 32 feet 2 inches ; and over all, 54 feet 8 
inches ; depth of hold, 1 2 feet ; machinery made by T F. 
Secor & Co., New York ; cylinder 50 inches in diameter, 
and 11 feet stroke ; tonnage, 900 ; cost about $80,000. 

Bay State. This magnificent steamer came out for the 
first time in June, 1849, with J. Van Cleve master the 
first season. She had a tonnage of 935, and the following 
dimensions, viz.: length, 222 feet; breadth of beam, 31 J 
feet ; total breadth, 58 feet ; depth of hold, 12 feet ; eno-ines 
from the Archimedes works, New York, with a cylinder 56 
inches in diameter and 11 feet stroke; wheels, 32 feet in 

The Northerner was built at Oswego, by G. S. Week? 
and came out in May, 1850. She, had a tonnage of 905 ■ 



length, 232 feet; beam, 30} feet; total breadth, 58 feet; 
depth of hold, 12} feet; wheels, 32 feet in diameter; cost 
$95,000 ; engines by T. F. Secor & Co., of New York, with 
cylinder of 60 inches in diameter, and a stroke of 11 feet. 

The New York, the largest American steamer on the 
lake, was built in 1851-52, and made her first trip in 
August, 1852, with R. B. Chapman master ; cost about 
1100,000; tonnage, 994; length, 224 feet; beam, 32} 
feet ; entire breadth, 64 feet ; engines built by H. R. Dun- 
ham & Co., New York ; cylinder, 60 inches in diameter, 
with 12 feet stroke ; wheels, 34 feet in diameter. 

Besides the above there have been built or run upon the 
river and lake the John Marshall, Utica, Caroline, Pres- 
cott, Swan, Express, Gleaner, and a few others, mostly 

Shortly after the formation of the " Steam- and Canal- 
boat Company," a new one was organized, called the " St. 
Lawrence Steamboat Company." The two were, in 1848, 
united in one, which assumed the name of the " Ontario 
and St. Lawrence Steamboat Company," having a capital of 
$750,000, and at present (1853) the following officers : E. 

B. Allen, president; E. B. Allen, G. N. Seymour, H. Van 
Rensselaer, A. Chapman, E. Gr. Merrick, S. Buckley, H. 
Fitzhugh, A. Munson, T. S. Faxton, H. White, L. Wright, 
directors ; and James Van Cleve, secretary and treasurer. 

This company were the owners of eleven steamers in daily 
service during the season of navigation. Their names, 
routes, and names of masters, as they existed in the summer 
and fall of 1852, were as follows : 

Express Line. — From Ogdensburg, by way of Toronto 
to Lewiston, and back, a daily line of two steamers, viz. : 
But/ State, Captain John Ledyard ; New York, Captain R. 

C. Chapman. 

Mail Line. — From Ogdensburg to Lewiston, touching at 
Kingston, and all the principal American ports, except Cape 
Vincent, a daily line of four steamers, viz. : Northerner, 
Captain R. F. Child; Cataract, Captain A. D. Kilby; 
Niagara, Captain J. B. Estes; Ontario, Captain H. N. 

The American Line, from Ogdensburg to Montreal, a 
daily line of three steamers, viz. : British Queen, Captain 
T. Laflamme ; British Empire, Captain D. S. Allen ; Jenny 
Lind, Captain L. Moody. 

Railroad Ferry. — From Cape Vincent to Kingston : 
Lady of the Lake, Captain S. L. Seymour. 

Line from Lewiston to Hamilton, at the head of Lake 
Ontario : Rochester, Captain John Mason. 

Of the above steamers, the Niagara, Cataract, Ontario, 
Bay State, and New York were built at French Creek, by 
John Oades, and the British Queen and British Empire, 
by the same builder, at the foot of Long island, in the St. 
Lawrence. Of propellers, the pioneer on the lake was the 
Oswego, built at that place in 1841 ; since which, about a 
dozen have been built on the lake. In 1851 a line, now 
numbering ten propellers, was established by Crawford & 
Co., to ruo in connection with the Northern railroad, for 
forwarding freight. In 1852, this line transported about 
30,000 tons of flour and produce, eastward, and 20,000 of 
merchandise, westward. Many of these vessels have cabins 
for passengers. jNIost of them were built at Cleveland Ohio. 

Speaking of the manner in which the business of steam 
navigation was managed on Lake Ontario and the St. Law- 
rence in 1852, Dr. Hough makes the following observations : 

" It is a singular fact that not a single accident has ever occurred 
upon any American steamer on Lake Ontario, or the St. Lawrence, 
which has caused the death or injury of a passenger. This is not 
due to chance so much as to skillful management. 

"It is believed that the steam packets on Lake Ontario, although 
they may be wanting in the gaudy ornaments and dazzling array of 
gilding and carving which is so ostentatiously displayed on the 
steamers of the North river, will compare in real convenience, neat- 
ness, and comfort, in the careful and attentive deportment of the 
officers and subordinates employed, in skillful management, punctu- 
ality, and safety, with any class of boats in the world. This opinion 
will be readily indorsed by any one who has enjoyed the accommoda- 
tion which they afford." 

The number of vessels built in the district of Oswegatchie 
from 1865 to 1877 inclusive, and their tonnage, was as 

follows : 


Steam vessels 9 440.37 

Barges 9 170.40 

Total 18 610.77 

The number of vessels registered in this district, and 

their tonnage, is as follows : 


steam vessels 15 1068.67 

Sail vessels 7 691.47 

Barges 7 964.12 

Total 29 2724.46 

Steamers for passengers and freight ply regularly in the 
season between Lake Ontario and Montreal, touching at all 
intermediate points; and there are several of a smaller ca- 
pacity which run from Ogdensburg to various points below 
Waddington, Louisville, Massena, etc. There are steam 
ferries at Ogdensburg, Morristown, and at several points 
below the latter. 

For the benefit of navigation, there are light-houses 
erected on the American side at Ogdensburg, Cross-over, 
and Sister islands, within the bounds of St. Lawrence 
County, and there are several on the Canadian shore. 


The repairing of vessels is an important item to the great 
lines of transportation and to shipping men generally, and 
to facilitate this branch of commerce dry-docks and marine' 
railways are constructed at great expense, by which a vessel 
may be taken from the water and placed in such a positioti 
that work can be carried on upon every part of her, outside, 
inside, and underneath, at the same time. 

Knowing the advantages that would accrue from a work 
of this kind located at Ogdensburg, a company called the 
Ogdensburg Marine Railway Company was formed Sept. 
29, 1852. The following gentlemen were chosen ofiieers 
at the first meeting: Henry Van Rensselaer, B. N. Fair- 
child, E. B. Allen, Edwin Clark, and Allen Chaney, trustees; 
Henry Van Rensselaer, president; Walter B. Allen, secre- 
tary. The duration of the company was limited to fifty 
years, and the shares were fixed at fifty dollars each. This 
organization was elFected under an act passed Feb. 17, 
1848. During the season of 1853 the company constructed 
a marine railway at Pigeon Point, a half-mile above the 
mouth of the Oswegatchie, on the St. Lawrence, of sufficient 



capacity to take out the largest vessels then on the lakes. 
Its approximate cost was $75,000, and it was and is yet the 
largest on the northern border. There are others at King- 
ston, Ontario, and at Oswego. 

Connected with it was an extensive ship-yard, with the 
necessary shops and appurtenances for building and repair- 
ing all classes of sea-going craft, canal-boats, etc., etc. The 
original company built the Mariner and rebuilt the Rio 
Grande, two sail vessels, besides repairing a large number, 
of various descriptions, during the time in which they op- 
erated the works, from 1853 to about 1860, when they 
were leased to E. B. Allen & Son, who operated them for 
ope or two years, when the property was sold to H. C. 
Pearson, who operated it until about 1870, when it was 
purchased by the Northern Transportation Company. 
During Mr. Pearson's occupancy he constructed ten or 
twelve canal propellers for the Erie canal, and built a 
number of vessels for the lake trade, among them the 
schooners W. B. Allen (for E. B. Allen & Son) and South- 
west, and two propellers and a side-wheel steamer. The 
works are now the property of the Northern Transit Com- 
pany, which succeeded the old Northern Transportation 
Company in 1876. The railway has a capacity for hauling 
out and repairing two of the Northern Transportation 
Company's propellers at the same time. Their average 
tonnage is about 400. The engine used is of about 40- 
horse power only, but by the use of heavy and complicated 
gearing a large vessel is easily taken from the water in less 
than an hour after she begins to move. This railway has 
been in successful operation for twenty-four years. The 
steady flow of the St. Lawrence, and its exemption from 
floods, make it the finest fresh-water stream in the world 
for purposes of this description. 


A company known as the " Northern Transportation 
Company" was organized under the laws of New York in 
1855, and reorganized under the laws of Ohio in 1862. 
This company had two lines of propellers in operation, one 
running to Lake Erie and one to Lake Michigan. Fifteen 
boats were employed until 1868, when the number was in- 
creased to twenty-one. Those running on Lakes Erie and 
Ontario and the St. Lawrence river were built as large as 
could be passed through the Welland canal, — about four 
hundred tons each. This company continued in business 
until 1875, when the property went into the hands of a re- 
ceiver. In 1876 the " Northern Transit Company" was 
formed, which purchased the entire outfit of the former 
company, and are now running sixteen propellers and three 
sail vessels between Ogdensburg and the ports of the lakes ; 
Chicago, Milwaukee, Toledo, and Cleveland being the 
principal ports in the west, and Oswego and Ogdensburg 
in the east. The boats touch at all points on the St. Law- 
rence above Ogdensburg, and at all the ports, both Canadian 
and American, on the lakes above the Welland canal. The 
principal business is the freighting of grain and flour from 
the west and merchandise from the east, the latter princi- 
pally from New York and Boston. 

The New England business passes mostly via Ogdens- 
burg, and the New York business via Oswego. The 

passenger traffic is more extensive than is at first sight 
apparent, amounting to over $100,000 annually. At 
Ogdensburg the line connects with the Ogdensburg and 
Lake Cliamplain railway, and through this with the Central 
Vermont railway, which distributes to all parts of New 
England. The connections at Oswego are by canal and 
railway, and the facilities are excellent and ample. The 
line also connects at Clayton with the Utica and Black 
River railroad. 

The company also own the marine railway at Ogdens- 
burg (spoken of elsewhere), and in connection therewith 
a ship-yard, where are constructed many of their vessels, 
extensive repair-shops, a saw-mill, etc. 

The boats are registered in the Cleveland district, and 
the company have also a ship-yard at that place for the 
construction of vessels. 

The present ofiicers of the company are A. W. French, 
president ; Philo Chamberlin, superintendent ; W. W. But- 
ler, secretary and treasurer ; C. L. Thompson, auditor. 


Northern New York was first brought into direct com- 
munication with the great cities in 1849, by means of the 
Canadian line of telegraphs operating on the Morse princi- 
ple. A station was established at Brookville'and another 
at Prescott. The " New York State Line" extended a 
branch from Watertown to Ogdensburg, by way of the Old 
Military road, in the summer of 1850. Ogdensburg was 
the only station in the county. 

In the summer of 1851 the " Vermont and Boston 
Line,'' originally intended to extend only as far as Burling- 
ton, was continued on to Rouse's Point and Ogdensburg, 
partly along the line of the railroad and partly along the 
highway. It had stations for receiving and transmitting 
intelligence at Ogdensburg, Canton, Potsdam, North Pots- 
dam, Malone, and Chateaugay. Both of these lines were 
operated on the principle of Bain's electro-chemical tele- 
graph, and sufficient stock was taken up along the routes 
to defray the expense of erection. 

The entire business of the county of St. Lawrence is 
now transacted by two companies : " The Montreal Tele- 
graph Company" and the " Dominion Telegraph Company." 
The former was organized in 1847, and commenced busi- 
ness in the county in 1849. It connects with the Anglo- 
American Cable Company and with the land lines of the 
Western Union Company at Oswego, BulFalo, Detroit, and 
other points. Nine separate lines connect with the Ogdens- 
burg office. The territory occupied by the company is 
divided into two divisions, called the Eastern and Western, 
Oo-densburg being in the Western Division. 

The officers of this company are : President, Sir Hugh 
Allan ; Secretary and General Eastern Superintendent, 
James Dakers ; Treasurer, Charles Bourne ; Greneral 
Western Superintendent, H. P. Dwight; Superintendent 
Western Division, Dexter Van Ostrand; Manager Ogdens- 
burg Office, James Ingram. 

" Tiie Dominion Telegraph Company" was organized in 
1868, and commenced business in St. Lawrence County in 
September, 1872. Offices are established at Ogdensburg, 
Morristown, and Hammond, in St. Lawrence County. The 



company connects with direct ocean cable with the Atlantic 
and Pacific and Vermont International Telegraph companies. 
The general offices of the company are located at Toronto. 
The following are the present officers : Board of Directors, 
Hon. T. N. Gibbs, M.P., president; John I. MacKenzie, 
Esq., vice-president; James Michie, Esq., treasurer; Thos. 
Swinyard, Esq., managing director; Hon. William Cayley, 
W. F. McMaster, Esq., A. Copp, Esq., R. N. Waddell, 
Esq., Laurence Oliphant, Esq. Local Directors, M. H. 
Grault, Esq., Montreal ; A. Joseph, Esq., Quebec. Execu- 
tive officers, Thomas Swinyard, Esq., general manager, 
Toronto; Frederick Roper, Esq., secretary, Toronto. Divi- 
sional Superintendents, H. Neilson, Toronto ; C. R. Hosmer, 
Montreal ; T. C. Elwood, Toronto ; D. B. McQuarrie, Hal- 
ifax. Agent at Ogdensburg, C. E. Comstock. 


The District of Oswe.gatchie was established March 2, 
1811, and the following statistics, procured by the Hon. 
Preston King, at the Treasury Department, for this purpose, 
show the business of this district very satisfactorily. The 
collectors have been Alexander Richards, 1811-20 ; Aaron 
Hackley, 1821 to 1827 ; Nathan Myers, 1827-29 ; Baron 
S. Doty, 182fl-36 ; Smith Stilwell, Oct. 1, 1836, Sept. 11, 
1840; David C. Judson, Sept. 12, 1840, Feb. 16, 1849; 
James C. Barter, Aug. 7, 1849 ; Thomas Bacon, Horace 
Moody, David M. Chapin, N. M. Curtis, George Parker, 
and Col. S. P. Remington, the present incumbent. 

The collections for a series of years, including all we could 
obtain, are shown in the following table : 

Year. Collections. 

1815 $11,729.37 

1816 4,409.80 

1817 6,176.02 

1818 6,155.98 

1819 2,716.01 

1820 1,677.01 

182X 1,339.45 

1822 2,307.35 

1823 2,462.07 

1824 1,913.59 

1825 1,349.30 

1826 1,207.87 

1827 768.02 

1828 2,103.33 

1829 2,044.91 

1830 2,.329.76 

1831 3,314.60 

1832 3,847.04 

Year. Collections. 

1833 $3,295.99 

1834 2,625.53 

1836 2,964.76 

1836 10,581.00 

1836 2,228.97 

1837 4,316.79 

1838 2,847.62 

1839 2,497.68 

1840 1,111.25 

1840 542.22 

1841 1,420.08 

1842 1,268.68 

1843 743.36 

1844 2,032.09 

1846 2,884.26 

1846 1,852.26 

1847 4,650.09 

1848 5,106.76 

Year. Collections. 

1849 $7,605.19 

1849 1,325.19 

1860 11,210.37 

1861..... 20,048.96 

1870 309,190.00 

1871 269,420.00 

Year. Collections 

1872 $234,361.00 

1873 226,249.00 

1874 206,605.00 

ISrS 112,.S60.00 

1876 80,362.00 

187? 96,494.00 

Subordinate offices are located at Hammond, Morristown 
Louisville, Massena, and Waddington, of which noticf.s will 
be found in the history of the respective towns. 

The U. S. government purchased grounds in Ogdens- 
burg, about 1850, of David C. Judson, and erected the 
present fine, substantial, and imposing edifice. The struc- 
ture is built of Berea sandstone, fr^-ii Ohio. The basement 
is of blue cut limestone, resting u,, ja a concrete foundation, 
four feet wide and six feet deep, filled with broken limestone 
and Salina cement. It is three stories in height, and 121 
by 57 feet in dimensions, and stands in a commanding loca- 
tion, on the block bounded by State, Knox, South Water, 
and Spinner streets. The lower floor is occupied by the 
post-office, customs department, pension-office, and offices 
for the revenue department. In the second story are the 
U. S. court-rooms and necessary offices. The rooms in the 
third story are used mostly for storage purposes. The floors 
rest upon iron girders, supported on brick arches. The 
roof, covered with Vermont slate, is supported by iron 
rafters, and surmounted by an iron-framed dome thirty 
feet in diameter, in the centre of which is a spiral iron 
stairway, fifty feet in height, reaching to the observatory 
above, which commands a fine and extensive view of the 
city, the St. Lawrence river, and the surrounding country 
on both sides for many miles. The interior finish is of 
white ash, and the furniture of black walnut. The hall 
floors are laid with sandstone tiling, and the office floors are 
of four-inch white spruce. The stair-frames are of iron, 
and the steps of Ohio stone. The building is heated by 
steam. The open space west of the building is inclosed by 
an iron fence, and the wide space around is lagged with 
Potsdam sandstone. 

The entire cost of the building, including grounds, furni- 
ture, etc., has been about $265,000, and it is one of the 
finest of its class in the country. (See illustration.) 

The steamer "Admiral," formerly U. S. revenue cutter, 
is owned by the Judsons, of Ogdensburg. 

CUSTOM house: and ^oiro7?fc-rr^^^^;ii,^tTV 



The city of Ogdensburg, named in honor of Samuel 
Ogden, its original proprietor, is beautifully and most ad- 
vantageously situated on the St. Lawrence river, at the foot 
of heavy ship navigation for the lakes, and on both sides of 
the Oswegatchie river, which here enters the St. Lawrence 
from the south. The great rapids of the latter river com- 
mence about six miles below Ogdensburg, and form a serious 
obstruction to the navigation of that stream ; but above 
Ogdensburg there is plenty of still water for the largest 
vessels and steamers. Three great railway lines diverge 
from this point towards the east, south, and southwest, and 
good connections are made with the Canadian railway sys- 
tem. The manufacturing facilities of Ogdensburg are good, 
and more especially in the lines of finished lumber and va- 
rious descriptions of wood-working. The Oswegatchie fur- 
nishes extensive water-power, which is well utilized, and 
the point is easily accessible to the iron mines of New York 
and Lake Superior, and the coal fields of Pennsylvania and 
Ohio. The city is finely laid out with broad streets, and is 
generally well built, particularly in the line of business- 
buildings, which compare favorably with those of any city 
of its size in the country. 

The public buildings of Ogdensburg are a United States 
custom-house and post-ofiice, a fine city-hall, six costly 
churches, nine good school buildings, a State arsenal, — the 
latter not at present in use for the purpose designed, — and 
the city water-works. Besides the nine public school build- 
ings, the Catholics and other denominations own several 
costly and commodious school buildings in various parts of 
the city, including two convents. 

The latitude is about 44° 40', and the longitude 75° 30' 
west from Glreenwich. 

Ogdensburg contains all the elements of larger cities, — 
broad, fine streets, beautifully shaded with forest maples ; 
good public and business buildings ; elegant and costly pri- 
vate dwellings ; grand churches ; excellent schools ; an en- 
terprising press ; a resident bishop ; prominent clergymen, 
attorneys, and physicians ; extensive banking-houses ; im- 
portant manufactures ; railways ; telegraph and express 
lines ; the finest post-oiEce building in the northern part of 
the State ; water- and gas-works ; beautiful cemeteries ; an 
efficient police and fire department ; numerous orders and 
societies ; bands, etc. ; and a very important commercial 
and mercantile trade. It is situated in the midst of most 
interesting historical associations, dating back to the days 
of Champlain and Frontenac, and closely connected in later 
times with the stirring military events of 1812-15, and of 
1837-40. The situation of the city is grand, — ^upon the 
banks of the finest fresh-water stream upon the globe, upon 

whose breast floats the commerce of two mighty nations, 
and which connects the greatest system of inland navigation 
in the world with the waters of the Atlantic. From the 
dome of the custom-house, on a clear day, the prospect is 
grand and sublime. The vision takes in a vast stretch of 
the St. Lawrence, with its bays and islands, the long line of 
the Canada coast, with numerous cities and villages, towards 
the north and west, and to the south and east the extensive 
champaign region lying between the wilderness and the 
river; and far to the southeast rise the blue undulating 
outlines of the ancient Adirondacks, the fathers of moun- 
tains. The population of Ogdensburg, by the last State 
census of 1875, is something over 11,000, of whom between 
4000 and 5000 are of foreign extraction. 

The bonded debt of the city is §135,000 ; of which 
there was issued in 1868 $100,000, and in 1870 $35,000. 
These bonds run for twenty years from date of issue, with 
interest payable semi-annually in February and August at 
the National Park bank, city of New York. 

The following statements are from the last annual report 
of the Mayor for 1876-77. 


Balance on hand at date of last report 

Keoeired from E. White, Esq., recorder, fines, etc 

" Board of excise, licenses 

" City treasurer, liquor licenses 

*' Hack and carter licenses 

" Show licenses , 

" Circus licenses 

" Foreign insurance companies 

" Distribution of city taxes 

" Town orders 

" Ferry license 

" Entertainment at town-hall, for gas 

" Street vendor 

" Transfer of order 433 to highway fund..., 

" Transfer from special police fund 


, $U70.n8 

















City Clerk, N. H. Lytle $500.92 

Police department 2941.46 

Legal services 65.75 

Excise Board, salary, etc 150.00 

Assessors' salaries, etc 372.00 

G-as bills at town-house, police headquarters, and 

town-hall 189.20 

Rent police headquarters 200.00 

E. White, recorder, salary 600.00 

Firewardens, July 4 18.00 

Pound rent 25.00 

Expenses of fire department 687.95 

" inspectors and clerks election 331.25 

Expenses printing, etc 603.70 

Health officers 322.43 

Lumber 226.49 

Coal, police headquarters and town-hall 146.10 

Wood for same places 258.50 

Erroneous taxes returned 50.51 

Special police, July 4 and Nov. 7 138.75 

Insurance 224.00 

Surveying 17.00 

Shoveling snow 16.00 

Sundries, etc 1447.23 






Received from water-rates *^®?2'^o 

It (t 11. lo 

<. .■ 347.75 

« 90.70 

„ « 92.00 

« .. .■■" 21.5.10 

» « V ■ 135.24 

« <' 127.00 

« " ■. ■ 1.30.71 

« " ■ 18.70 

« « 42.35 


" " ' ,\ 126.98 

" " ' 141.50 

" " 175.45 

<< " 161.00 

" " 653.39 

" 14.70 

" " 11.62 

Received note to pay interest on bonds 4725.00 

" from city taxes 4960.00 

" balance of city taxes 560.00 



By balance overdrawn at date of last report $157.54 

Paid Seymours &> Co., coal 80.00 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 105.50 

" C. A. Davies & Co., merchandise 38.54 

" Cranberry lake commissioners 72.00 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 109.25 

" Ogdensburg gas company, gas at water-works 5.40 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 114.75 

" Water- works pay-roll 31.45 

" Draft interest on bonds 4725.00 

" Commissions National Park bank 23.62 

" J. C. Armstrong, postage account.... 8.00 

'* R. Montgomery, labor 99.14 

" W. B. Allen & Co., merchandise 34.21 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 107.45 

^* Water-works pay-roll 14.38 

" A. H. Lord, salary, etc 108.90 

" Seymours & Co., coal 252.23 

" Murphy & Liscomb 58.40 

" E. S, Brownson, merchandise 9.27 

" A. H. Lord, salary, etc 105.72 

" Thomas McSirr, labor 11.75 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 114.45 

" Note and discount 4829.14 

*' Water- works pay-roll 24.19 

" A. H. Lord, salary 106.00 

" James Brown, lumber 34.97 

" Ogdensburg gas company, gas at water-works 11.88 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 110.60 

'* Interest on coupon bonds 2460.00 

" Interest on registered bonds 2275.00 

** Park bank, commissions 11.81 

" Exchange on draft 11.81 

" W. W. Fulton, referee 18.42 

" W. B. Allen, merchandise 76.65 

" J. Autin, wood 43.12 

" J. Glass, merchandise 115.35 

" A. H. Lord, disbursements 36.00 

" J. C. Armstrong, stamps and envelopes 11.76 

'' James, Remington & Palmer, printing 28.26 

" C. A. Davies & Co., merchandise 11.66 

" C. Slocum, labor 8.48 

" A. H. Lord, salary and disbursements 111.60 

" " 127.05 

" C. Axhley, merchandise 3,34 

" A. H. Lord, salary, etc 110.06 

" J. MoNaughton, legal services 10.00 

" Ogdensburg gas company, gas for water-works 9.72 

•' Balance 146.56 



Highway fund — receipts and expenditures $11,023.67 

Gas fund— receipts and expenditures 2,247.22 

Public park fund— receipts and disbursements 1,372.26 

Sewer fund, " " 2,026.83 

Cemetery fund, " *' 541.60 

Hose house fund, " " 426.73 

Total $17,638.31 

The total amount expended on account of streets, in- 
cluding walks, bridges, and culverts, was $10,945.08. 

In the following pages will be found the early and later 
history of the mission, village, and city of Ogdensbui-o' 

with a full account of its various institutions, manufactures, 
schools, churches, professions, etc., with complete lists of vil- 
lage and city officers to the present time, carefully arranged 
by subjects, and covering every department of enterprise 
from 1749 to 1878. 


The first stock of goods opened in Ogdensburg was 
brought by the tedious route of the Hudson river, the Mo- 
hawk, Wood creek, Oneida lake, Oswego river, Lake On- 
tario, and the St. Lawrence, by Nathan Ford, agent for 
Samuel Ogden, and arrived at Ogdensburg Aug. 11, 1796. 
On the route up the Mohawk one of the boats, loaded 
with the goods, was sunk in the rapids and the goods badly 

This stock was opened in the sergeant's room of the 
late British barracks, and Richard Fitz Randolph was the 
first man to measure tape and sell salt and sugar in the 
embryo city. To-day, from this small beginning, the city 
has grown and enlarged its trade until the mercantile estab- 
lishments probably number over one hundred and fifty of 
various kinds. 

A summary of the present business of the city of Og- 
densburg gives about the following : 4 asheries, 35 attor- 
neys, 2 architects, 3 auction and commission, 3 bakeries, 
2 banking-houses, 9 barber-shops, 2 billiard-rooms, 20 
blacksmiths, 4 boat-builders, 2 bowling-alleys, 2 books and 
stationery, 1 book-bindery, 10 boot- and shoe-dealers, 3 
brokers, 1 brewery, 1 broom-factory, 4 carriage-works, 1 
cement-roofing, 1 chandlery, 10 clergymen, 6 clothing- 
stores, 5 confectioners, 2 heavy coal dealers, 4 cooperages, 

1 crockery dealer, 5 dentists, 12 dress-makers, 4 doors, 
sash, and blinds, 5 druggists, 11 dry goods, 1 express office, 

2 flour and grain dealers, 4 flour-mills, 1 forwarding and 
corn, 2 foundries and machine-shops, 2 fruit dealers, 4 fur- 
niture dealers, 50 grocers, 2 hair-work manufacturers, 8 
hardware and tinware, 3 hat, cap, and fur dealers, 15 hotels, 
9 insurance agents, 5 jewelers, 3 job printers, 4 justices, 4 
land agents and real estate, 2 grain elevators, one with ca- 
pacity of 650,000 bushels, 90 licensed hackmen, wagoners, 
and carters, 5 liquor-stores, 2 liveries, 3 heavy lumber deal- 
ers, 2 marble-shops, 20 meat and vegetable markets, 4 mer- 
chant tailors, 10 milliners, 2 musical instruments, 2 oils and 
glassware, 3 photographers, 12 physicians, 5 planing-mills, 
1 plaster-mill, 3 plumbers and gas-fitters, 5 post officials, 2 
pump-factories, 3 railways, 10 saddlery and harness, 25 
saloons and sample-rooms, 9 public and 7 select schools, and 
about 20 societies of various kinds, exclusive of churches, 
1 extensive stave-factory, 2 steam ferries, 2 telegraph offices, 
4 tobacconists. 

The total capital invested in the city in various branches 
of business, railways, transportation, manufactures, banking, 
and trade, approximates $5,000,000. 


The city of Ogdensburg comprises, for civil purposes, a 
part of the town of Oswegatchie, which was erected from 
Lisbon March 3, 1802, the date of the organization of the 



The first settlement was made in 1749 by the Sulpician 
Father Francis Picquet, who built a mission house and in- 
closed it with a small stockade, or palisade, and had mounted 
for its defense " seven small stone guns and eleven four- to 
six-pounders." In 1751 he built a dam and saw-mill on 
the Oswegatchie, as stated by one writer ; by another it is 
said that a dam and mill were erected by Captain Vernuil 
Lorimier, a French officer, who commanded at La Presenta- 
tion (the name given by Picquet to his post). At this 
mill large quantities of lumber were manufactured, a por- 
tion of which was used in the building of the rapidly- 
increasing village, which was composed of Indians, mostly 
from the Onondaga tribe of the Five Nations, who were 
persuaded to embrace Christianity, or rather to conform to 
the outward rules of the Catholic church, and to emigrate 
to the new mission on the Oswegatchie. 

The mission was abandoned and the works destroyed by 
the French upon the advance of General Amherst's army 
in the summer of 1760. The sandstone tablet, with its 
Latin inscription, which Father Picquet had placed in his 
mission house, was found among the ruins in 1831, and 
afterwards inserted in the front of the State arsenal, erected 
in 1858. 

A British garrison probably occupied this post for some 
years. The English were in possession in 1793, at which 
time Samuel Ogden was in correspondence with the gov- 
ernor of New York and the governor-general of Canada 
concerning the occupation by the English and the rapid 
destruction of the timber upon his domain, which was 
being extensively shipped to the north side of the St. 

Settlement was commenced here, under the proprietor- 
ship of Samuel Ogden, by his agent, Nathan Ford, in 1796 ; 
and on July 11, 1797, Mr. Ford was made his attorney for 
the sale of lands. It was Mr. Ogden's intention to begin 
at an earlier date, but possession of the English Fort Oswe- 
gatchie could not be obtained. The ownership was finally 
settled by the terms of Jay's treaty, ratified in February, 
1796, and the British gave up possession. 

Under British administration leases had been procured 
from the Oswegatchie Indians, under which the old French 
mill and dam were put in repair and an extensive lumber- 
ing business commenced by the Canadians, and was in full 
tide of operation when the fact first became known to the 

Specimens of these spurious titles are inserted as curi- 
osities worthy of preservation. 


" To all people to whom these presents shall come : Ogentago, Do- 
wasundah, Sahundarish, and Canadaha, the four representatives of 
the Indian village of Oswegatchie, have this day, by and with the 
advice of the whole nation, being duly assembled in full council of 
the whole tribe or nation, as above mentioned, Men, Women, and 
Children being all present, have this day bargained, agreed, and to 
farme let for ever, to Major Watson, of Oswegatchie, and to his heirs 
and assignes for ever, all that tract or parcel of Land, Situate, Lying, 
and Being, on the South Side of the River St. Lawrence, Beginning 
at the northwest corner of a tract of land granted to Daniel Smith, 
and running up along the stream of the river one League, or three 
English miles; thence Bast South-east from the Lake or Kiver, into 
the woods three Leagues or Nine English Miles, thence Northeast 

one League or three English miles, thence North North west three 
Leagues or Nine English Miles, along the Line of said Daniel Smith 
to the place of Beginning, at the River Keeping the breadth of one 
League or three English miles, from the front of the River with Nine 
Miles in Depth; to him, his heirs and assigns, with the appurte- 
nances thereunto Belonging, or anywise appertaining to him the 
Said Major Watson his heirs and assigns for ever, for the yearly 
Rents and Covenants herein Reserved to the above Ogentago, Do- 
wasundah, Sahundarish and Canadaha, their heirs and successors or 
assigns, forever; to be yearly and Every year after the day of the 
date hearof, and to commence on the first day of December, one 
thousand Seven hundred and ninety three, the sum of Twenty 
Spanish Mill'd Dollars, thirteen and one third Bushels of wheat, and 
thirty three and one third pounds of pork, to be paid on the premices 
by the said Major Watson, his Heirs, Executors, administrators and 
assigns, to the above forementioned representatives, their heirs or 
assigns, if legally demanded on the premises, they giving sufiicient dis- 
charges for the same, every year, hereafter, as the same rent becomes 
due. Now therefore this Indenture witnesseth, that the above Ogen- 
tago, Dowasunda, Sahundarish, and Canadaha, the four Representa- 
tives of the above mentioned village, and being the true and lawful 
owners of the above described Lands, and for, and in consideration of 
the yearly Rents and Covenants above mentioned, the receipt whereof 
they do here acknowledge, hath granted Bargained aliened released 
and confirmed, and by these presents doth, fully, freely, and Abso- 
lutely, do grant, Bargain, and sell; alien. Release, and confirm, unto 
the said Major Watson, his heirs and assigns for ever all the Title, 
Interest, Property, Claim, and Demand, of and unto, the above men- 
tioned Land, and premises, together with all the Trees, Timber, 
woods, ponds, pools, water, water courses, and streams of water, fish- 
ing, fowling, hawking, and hunting, Mines and Minerals, Standing, 
growing, Lying, and Being, or to be had, used, and enjoyed within 
the limits and Bounds aforesaid, and all other profits, Benefits, 
Liberties, priviledges, heriditiments, and appurtunanceys to the same 
Belonging, or in anywise appertaining, to have, and to hold, all the 
aforesaid Land, and premises, to the said Major Watson, his Heirs and 
assigns, to the proper use Benefit and Behoof of him, the said Major 
Watson, his Heirs and assigns for ever. So that neither of them the said 
Releasors nor their heirs or any other person or persons whatsoever for 
them or either of them, in their or either of their Names or write. Shall, 
or May, by any ways or means whatsoever, at any time hereafter. 
Claim, Challenge, or demand any Estate Right Title Interest, of, in, 
or to, the said above released premices, or any part thereof. But from 
all and every action and actions. Estate, Right, title. Claim, and De- 
mand, of any kind, of, in, or to, the said premises, or any part there- 
of, they and Every of them. Shall be for ever Bound, by thease presents, 
and thay, and Every of them, the above said premises, with the ap- 
portunances to the said Major Watson, his heirs and assigns, shall, 
and will, for Ever Warrant and Defend. In Witness whereof, they 
have hearunto Set their Hands, and Seals, the Twenty Second day of 
August, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
ninety two. 

" Sealed and Delivered 
in the Presents off, 

" Senhawe x his Mark. 
Sahieh x bis Mark. 
Henry Galton. 
Chrest. Swansichton. 
Ogentago x his Mark. l. s. 

Dowasundah, x his Mark. i^. a. 
Sawhundarish, x his Mark. L. s. 
Canadaha. x his Mark. l. s. 

'T. B. A true coppy 

" Indorsement on Preceding. — Be it for Ever hereafter Remembered, 
that the chiefs of the Oswegatchie Nation have received of Major 
Watson, Jared Seeley, and Daniel Smith, and John Livingston, an 
actual payment for the consideration contained in the Deeds executed 
by us and our fathers, comprehending ten miles on the river St. Law- 
rence, with nine miles back into the woods ; wo say received the rent 
in full, for the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 



ninety-seven, agreeable to the conditions of the within Lease or Deed, 
and the said parteys are hear hy Regularly Discharged for the same, 

as witnesses our hands. 



'Witness present, 
" Amos Ansley. 

" Lashalagcnhas, X his mark. 
" Lcwangelass, X his mark." 

Onatchateyent, Totagoines, Onarlos, Tiotaasera, Aonaota, 
Gatemontie, Ganonsenthe and Onente, OswegatcMe chiefs, at 
Grenville, U. C, June 1, 1795, in the presence of Joseph 
Anderson, John Stigraan, and Ephraim Jones, confirmed 
to Catharine and Francis, the wife and son of Capt. Verneuil 
Lorimier, a verbal lease, executed in 1785, of a tract on the 
south shore, half a mile on each side of the small river 
called Black river and up to Black lake, for the yearly rent 
of one hundred silver dollars, or money equivalent thereto. 
This was a full warranty deed with covenant. Lorimier had 
been a French officer in command of Fort Presentation, and 
a tradition relates that he also possessed a French title, 
which, with other papers, were scattered and lost in a gale 
of wind that unroofed his house.* It having been reported 
that the St. Regis Indians discountenanced these proceed- 
ings, Watson and his associates wrote to them on the subject, 
and received the following answer, dated at St. Regis, April 
10, 1795 : 

"SiK, — We were favored with your letter of the 9 March, and we 
have to inform you that no Indian of